12 Key Takeaways from Day One of the CEO Beauty 2024 WWD Summit

Beauty industry executives and powerhouses rubbed shoulders at the WWD Beauty CEO Summit 2024 at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami beginning Monday evening.

Themed “Growing Minds and Creating Opportunities,” the three-day event kicked off with a fireside chat about how to effectively expand the reach of brands between Jenny B. Fine, editor-in-chief of WWD’s Beauty Inc, and Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble – seen growth across all of its specialty beauty divisions in 2023.

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Here, key takeaways from Day One of WWD’s CEO Beauty 2024 Summit.

1. Balance the quantifiable with the quantifiable to maximize impact.

“What will make a difference is how brands make you feel,” Pritchard said. “Contact as many people as you can; make sure you are representing everyone, and [strive for] resonance, make sure you show the best place to meet you [consumers].”

2. Take the brand you want to see.

I’ve had eczema my whole adult life, and one of the things I was looking for was products that were not only clean but also stayed consistent, so that’s exactly what we have,” said Amy. Liu, founder of a skin care and makeup brand. Tower 28, which is 100 percent National Eczema Association compliant.

“I am the world’s most reluctant beauty founder,” said Tina Chen Craig, who founded U Beauty in 2019 with the aim of harnessing active ingredients through non-irritating formulas. “We haven’t capitalized on our original brand promise, which is to streamline skin care with scientifically proven results [routines].”

“We wanted to create a fragrance that reflected our experience as black women; we wanted to create a fragrance that lifted your mood; something that’s fun and takes you to a place and destination outside of yourself, but also helps you feel great,” said Tai Beauchamp, co-founder of functional fragrance brand Brown Girl Jane.

3. There will always be an audience for going back to the basics, despite technological advances.

“Mother Nature is the ultimate luxury home,” said Richard Christiansen, founder of Flamingo Estate.

4. True ROI is often a long game.

“There’s a lot of situations where people will say, you know, we need to see a return on investment — you don’t have to for some things; it’s a long game,” said Mary van Praag, global chief executive officer of Milani Cosmetics, which recently logged 10 consecutive quarters of growth and has seen steady gains among Hispanic and multicultural consumers.

5. Young, sexy and included are the holy trinity of Gen Z.

“Sexuality is a key purchase motivator for consumers… neuromarketing can boost the performance of beauty brands [looking to reach] Gen Z,” said Olivier Tjon, neuromarketer and co-founder of Beyond Reason, adding that a balance between inclusive and “sexy” tactics is most effective in reaching young consumers. “Gender inclusivity and fluidity are big societal themes, and brands need to include them in the background of the stories they tell about sex and being free.”

6. AI can be a superpower to anticipate and meet consumer needs.

“AI is the new cyberspace GPS navigation,” said Dana Upshaw, chief growth officer at Recom, adding that a recent survey showed that 39 percent of shoppers reported that AI had a positive impact on their shopping experience. “It’s powerful, accessible and changing the way we approach business as a whole.”

7. New beauty technology is getting bigger by getting smaller.

Guive Balooch, global managing director, augmented beauty and open innovation at L’Oréal said that he is “excited by the miniaturization of devices and AI together – the link between physical and digital.”

8. Always be ready to pivot.

“Be careful. Be nimble and take every opportunity,” said Anastasia Soare, founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, in a conversation with longtime friend Tommy Hilfiger. Kris Jenner added: “There’s always something around the corner, something new to look forward to.

9. The convergence of industries – beauty, technology, wellness – is where innovation lies.

“In terms of macro forces, it’s really looking at the convergence of technology, fitness, healthcare and beauty. I always say that it is in the convergence of these spaces that the most disruptive innovation ideas come,” said Vasiliki Petrou, CEO of Unilever Prestige. “We see potential everywhere.”

10. Love what you do and the rest will follow.

“I think working breeds work. All you have to do is work, work, work,” said Courteney Cox, actress and founder of luxury cleaning brand Homecourt. “Now, I think that passion breeds happiness. I want to do things that I love, and I have to put everything into it.”

11. Be a teacher and a student.

“Our job now is to mentor the group of leaders and find them who can take it to the next level,” said Séan Harrington, CEO and co-founder of Elemis. “Keep learning. That is critical.”

12. Understanding an increasingly fragmented creator landscape is central to effectively creating social content at scale.

“Macro creators – those with 100,000 to 1 million followers – are a bit better than celebrity creators at targeting specific niches, but they still have a broad audience,” said Caspar Lee, co-founder of influencer.com. . “Micro-creators can be very cost-effective and create high-quality content, and potential creators are not only cost-effective but can be invaluable in humanizing your brand.”

“It’s also important to build relationships with the brands fans because one day they might be influential too; it is enough to start that relationship early [important],” said Armaan Mehta, co-founder of Odore.

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