Estée Lauder exec on innovating for the future

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Estée Lauder exec on innovating for the future

Related tags Estée lauder companies Innovation

Industry formulators should not create parity products to be in line with their competitors, but instead should strive to create ‘products of the future’, according to an industry leader.

These are the thoughts of Carl Haney, executive vice president for global R&D, corporate product innovation, package development with the Estée Lauder Companies.

The exec was speaking at the recent IFSCC international industry event for beauty and personal care, addressing scientists and engineers across the formulation spectrum. Haney also acknowledged various major trends offering opportunities for the industry and listed his top tips for beauty innovators today.

What are the trends, and how to tackle them?

Haney picked out the key trends that the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) group has set its sights on tackling, noting that premium beauty, ELC’s mainstay, is currently growing at a faster pace than the mass market.

“We expect this to continue, driven by the growth of sub-categories,” Haney noted, pulling out the following areas of focus: products that offer consumers instant benefits, locally relevant trends, the rising demand for artisanal and natural product offerings, along with increasing interest in personalised, customised beauty solutions.

He recommends paying attention particularly to the hotbeds of emerging innovation, and believes the two most important of these at this time are California and South Korea.

Responding to Millennials’ demands to be instantly selfie-ready will require formulators to work with light, and catering to the diverse needs of multi-ethnic consumer groups will be increasingly in focus too.

“We strive to formulate for every consumer at Estée Lauder Companies,” Haney explained, noting that it will become essential to cater for habits and variations at a local level. “We need to innovate locally relevant trends.”

‘What would I do as a beauty innovator today?’

Haney offered the following tips for those formulators looking to lead on innovation:

  • Set high technical goals and act on those goals
  • Embrace the power of possibility – be willing to create new categories or forms that have not yet been considered. Try new experiments.
  • Turn fire into light. As scientists, we have to accept the need for discourse; we have to challenge each other.
  • Keep your eye on the horizon and your nose to the grindstone. Innovate and formulate.
  • Lead with technical courage. Have the wisdom and humility to be a lifelong student: to listen and learn with respect.
  • Remember the power of childlike wonder and imagination. Ask yourself: what are you going to invent today?
  • Reach higher technically, and never forget to feel deeper. 

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