FIT graduates discuss mass market beauty predictions during Target-sponsored event

NEW YORK — To better connect with today's beauty consumers, mass market retailers should consider implementing a multisensory playground or a "BeautySphere," engaging them with a calendar of in-store pop-up activities and implementing a "roving endcap" as a cost-effective way to execute new ideas and highlight new products. Those were just some of the ideas that emerged Thursday evening during the Fashion Institute of Technology Class of 2011 Capstone presentations and graduation reception in New York.

Each year, the graduating class of the Master of Professional Studies degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management at FIT researches and forecasts trends or growth concepts within a specific area of the beauty industry, which they then present to an audience of industry executives.

Target sponsored this year's presentation, titled "Beauty For All: Innovations in Mass Retail." On hand to deliver keynote remarks during the event was Will Setliff, VP marketing for Target.

Setliff told attendees that Target, in order to remain relevant to its consumers, must anticipate consumers' wants and needs. He added that innovation and risk-taking are vital to Target, and he stressed the retailer's commitment to being a beauty destination.

Throughout the semester, executives from Target challenged the FIT graduate students to research trends, technologies and customer needs currently being used and then demonstrate how these can be applied to three mass beauty growth areas: prestige, naturals and cosmeceuticals, as well as bridging beauty and fashion.

  • Prestige: This group examined all areas and aspects of the luxury market and presented concepts that will appeal to the current consumer, who is value-driven and seeking a cross-shopping experience.

  • Naturals and cosmeceuticals: This group explored the growth potential in the beauty sector for this area of the beauty market and discussed how the health-and-wellness culture can cross over to the mass consumer, and how brands can impact the education of the mass market consumer about naturals and cosmeceuticals, including possible adjacency to an in-store pharmacy.

  • Bridging beauty and fashion: This group looked at the inextricable link between fashion and beauty, focusing on how fashion can be leveraged in new and interesting ways to entice and drive the consumer to beauty purchases.

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