Innovative ways to reach consumer groups in this economic climate will be addressed by the graduating class of the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) when they showcase their projects at Capstone 2009. The presentation and graduation awards will be held on Wednesday, May 13 from 6 to 8 pm at FIT's Katie Murphy Amphitheatre in the Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street.
Annual Capstone projects address current issues vital to the beauty industry. This years theme is New Intelligence for the New Economy. Student groups were paired with industry leaders who acted as mentors on the following topics:
- The New Face of Aging (Industry partner Karen Grant, NPD Group, Inc.): In most developed countries, the number of individuals 55+ is set to double in the next 20-30 years. How can marketers reach out to this aging population to fully engage and serve them better?
- The New Urban Consumer (Industry partner Marc Gobe, principal, emotionalbranding.com): Less than 50 percent of households today are traditional. Increasingly, we are seeing migration to the cities of wealthy consumers. Within this urbanization movement are singles, childless, and gay couples. What can manufacturers/retailers do to better serve these sometimes time-starved, demanding communities?
- The New Middle Class (Industry partner Candace Corlett, principal, WSL Strategic Retail): With growth in China and India, there is a potential global middle class of two billion consumers. In developed markets, the recession is causing consumers to hunker down. How will the consumer goods industry engage this diverse, global middle class?
- New Paths of Communication (Industry partner Marc Pritchard, global marketing office, Procter and Gamble): What is the future of traditional advertising? As we are more connected by the internet, read online and view online, how do we reinvent our communication with consumers?
Dr. Joyce F. Brown, FIT's president, will give welcoming remarks. Keynote speaker Francis Cholle, principal of The Human Company and author of Intuitive Intelligence, will discuss his belief that challenges must be addressed by radically new means to succeed in today's marketplace.
Following the students presentations, there will be a question-and-answer session with the audience at a panel moderated by Ellen Byron, consumer goods reporter, The Wall Street Journal. Panel members will be the four Capstone team leaders, Bill Hughes of the Este Lauder Companies; Suzanne Della Pella, Links of London; Virginia Grahamof Elizabeth Arden; and Laurie Lam of L'Oréal USA.
Professor Stephan Kanlian, chair, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management, said, In order for brands to address the challenges of the new economy, we are examining demographic groups at extremes in society (the aging population), the development of influential consumer groups (urban and middle class consumers), and changes to methods of communication with consumers (social media). We hope to discover trends in society that might provide guidance to brands about how to communicate with consumers more authentically and increase their relevance in a challenging business environment.
To conclude the evening, Professor Kanlian will announce the winners of student and faculty awards. These include the Outstanding Scholarship Award; The Victorias Secret Beauty Recognition for Outstanding Leadership Award, determined by fellow graduates; and the Department Medal. The Este Lauder Companies Faculty Leadership Award will be presented to a member of the adjunct faculty nominated and voted on by the graduating class.
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The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Master of Professional Studies Program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management is the only program of its kind in the United States. The program is designed to provide advanced managerial and marketing education for outstanding mid-level professionals in the cosmetics and fragrance industries.
A professional degree program, the MPS is geared toward individuals who have been recommended by their employers because of their strong managerial potential. Structured as a two-year evening program to accommodate working professionals, the curriculum has been designed to impart the core skills of a business degree alongside the creative and technical skills unique to the cosmetics and fragrance fields.
The Fashion Institute of Technology is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York, with 44 majors leading to AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. Visit www.fitnyc.edu.