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CEW Presents The Estée Lauder Companies’ Dream Team

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: April 24, 2013
CEW Estée Lauder

From left, Jennifer Balbier, senior VP, global product development, Artistry Brands (overseeing MAC Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and Smashbox); Anne Carullo, senior VP, global product development, Estée Lauder and Tom Ford Beauty; and Karyn Khoury, senior VP, corporate fragrance development worldwide, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Innovation is the driver of growth in the beauty market, and a recent CEW Women and Men in Beauty Series panel left no doubt about the roles played by industry thought leaders today. In a presentation titled The Estée Lauder Companies’ Dream Team: Beauty Product Innovators, held April 18, 2013, Jennifer Balbier, senior VP, global product development, Artistry Brands (overseeing MAC Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and Smashbox); Anne Carullo, senior VP, global product development, Estée Lauder and Tom Ford Beauty; and Karyn Khoury, senior VP, corporate fragrance development worldwide, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.; took the audience on a journey of passion and discovery, as they discussed identifying and anticipating the regional and global desires of today’s consumer.

The Modernity of the Message

“Fragrance changes have taken place in five years,” said Khoury, noting, “Although the pace hasn’t slowed, the modernity of the message and where and how it reaches women is key. This, as well as storytelling, is important.” In addition, Khoury emphasized the importance of distinction, adding, “Never has the need been stronger for high quality. I don’t believe in one dominant fragrance trend, however, a lot of innovation is coming from niche, and new definitions of sensualuty are emerging, from Orientals to new takes on the classic rose.”

Carullo, who has been a driving force behind the development of cosmetic and skin care products globally, noted the changes she has seen in five years. “There’s been a dynamic change, particularly in thinking globally and acting locally. We look at the world locally and leverage globally. It’s been incredibly exciting.”

Balbier said, “For color, we’re looking at what’s regionally relevant. Between MAC and Bobbi and Smashbox, you need to have that. I think there must be 10,000 colors in makeup.”

In response to the impact of social media, Balbier said, “It’s all about where you are and what you can buy. Five years ago this wasn’t happening, but it is now.” Carullo added, “It’s extraordinary to be able to dig deep and understand the dynamics of what the consumer wants. On the other hand, the information can be so dense that you need to have an editing eye. There are many methods and vehicles that we use to do this, from focus groups and beyond. You need to use a very discerning eye, because you can be blinded by so much information.”