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Looking to the Future of Beauty and Its Consumers

Posted: June 4, 2014

As part of the new partnership between Unilever U.S. and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), students graduating in 2014 from FIT's Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM) master's degree program debuted their Capstone research projects and presentations on Wednesday, June 6, 2014 at the Haft Auditorium at FIT in New York.

The "Evolution of the Beauty Landscape" was the focus for the 2014 Capstone event, as the FIT students explored the topic "The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer." Under this theme, they researched three challenges that shape the way beauty companies operate, from economics to gender to ethnicity.

"Accessible Beauty"—"Accessible Beauty" introduces a new name for a growing consumer group: Progressive Rationalists. This group regularly trades up and down, necessitating a different approach for reaching them.

"Engaging the New Beauty Consumer"—"Engaging the New Beauty Consumer "presents a new strategy that leverages total consumer identity. This new strategy moves beyond the traditional segmentation model of race, sex, age, and geography.

"Men's Beauty"—"Men's Beauty" explores the increasing complexity that modern men encounter in today's society. The research focuses on the changing economic and social attitudes toward masculinity that are impacting male grooming habits. The industry is at a tipping point where external drivers are altering men's wants, needs, and aspirations.

"At Unilever, we deliver world class innovation based on rich insights that create meaningful connections with our consumers, and we know that what's relevant today may not be tomorrow as demographics continue to evolve," said David Rubin, marketing vice president, Unilever Hair US. "The dynamic and intelligent graduate students of FIT's Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Master's Program have come together to take on imminent challenges of the business, such as 'The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer.' We at Unilever are honored to partner with FIT to help foster the growth of these prospective industry leaders."

"Working with a world class consumer packaged goods company like Unilever as partner, the faculty and class of 2014 were excited to explore the consumer of 2030, and how evolving cultural values, universalization, changing notions of life stage and gender, and the rapidly changing socioeconomic landscape globally will impact on how brands innovate and communicate to connect with their consumers," said Professor Stephan Kanlian, chair of FIT's unique graduate program. "We are truly at a tipping point, with the convergence of social conscience in the developed markets and the rising global middle class in the developing world, and these forces are sure to effect widespread changes in the consumer landscape of 2030."

The CFMM master's degree program provides advanced education for emerging beauty industry executives. Each year the graduating class presents in-depth, forward-thinking capstone research along with industry predictions and proposals for beauty companies. Full research white papers for "The Changing Face of the Beauty Consumer," along with white papers for past presentations, are available at fitnyc.edu/5518.asp.