CEW hosts sold-out Interpreting Trends Workshop

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

(speakers and audience photos courtesy of CEW)
(speakers and audience photos courtesy of CEW)

Related tags Marketing

The cosmetics, fragrance, and personal care industry professional organization’s career development event late last week in New York City featured insights from Maxwell Luthy of Trend Watching and Larissa Jensen of the NPD Group. And Jennifer Barckley, also of Trend Watching, led a quick interactive innovation workshop.

Jill Scalamandre, the organization’s board chairwoman and president of Shiseido Americas Global Makeup Center of Excellence, opened the event, explaining the new workshop format and previewing the CEW’s upcoming events.

Scalamandre pointed out that this year, the annual Achiever Awards event is being held earlier than usual (on Friday, September 15th) to accommodate a new half-day conference on Thursday, October 12. The new Connected Consumer event will explore “how successful companies are implementing speed, agility and analytics into their marketing strategies to stay relevant and engaged with their consumer and the evolution to purchase,” ​according to the CEW site. And, it will feature speakers from L’Oréal, Shiseido, Sephora, The Future Laboratory, Trendalytics, Facebook, and more.


Trend Watching, as Maxwell Luthy (director of trends and insights for the firm) explained, “watches businesses and how they’re changing consumer expectations.” ​He emphasized the importance of tracking change across industries and focusing on megatrends.

His remarks centered on 4 trends that Trend Watching has termed: betterment, better business, fuzzynomics, and youniverse.

The betterment trend is something like self-improvement. Thanks to data gathering devices like Fitbit, consumers have become “the quantified masses” ​with each person focused on “how they’re doing compared to others,” ​explains Luthy. Better business is a trend towards “a more ethical, more sustainable consumerism.” ​To meet expectations here, brands should identify and repurpose the resources in their supply chains or in their consumers’ lifestyle that can be used rather than wasted.

Fuzzynomics is fuzzy because this trend “blurs the boundaries between producer and consumer,” ​says Luthy. And, he points to recent Edleman data, which Cosmetics Design reported​ on earlier this year—data that shows for the first time, consumers now trust ‘someone like me’ more than they trust authority figures. Brand hoping to win at fuzzynomics should “harness the power of community and support the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” ​observes Luthy. And, the Youniverse trend means that each consumer wants to be “recognized, served, and treated as an individual.”

Ideas and innovations

Larissa Jensen of the NPD Group astutely linked each of these megatrends to “the different consumer psyches driving them.” ​In beauty, says Jensen, the intrigued consumer is driving the betterment trend; the informed consumer is behind better business; the involved beauty consumer is motivating the fuzzynomimcs trend; and the individualized consumer is driving the Youniverse.

Jennifer Barckley, of Trend Watching, guided attendees through a workshop session on turning information about trends into innovation ideas, or as she termed it “making a trend baby.”

Working in teams of 2, attendees collaborated to come up with one idea that fell within the parameters of 2 megatrends and would be a potential product, marketing campaign, or service innovation. A few of the teams pitched their ideas the group. All-in-all, many new “trend babies” were born at the event; and it seemed that everyone enjoyed learning how information on trends and consumer expectations can be turned into an actionable planning strategy.  

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