« Indie Brands move the Needle »: a roundtable by Karen Young at MakeUp in NewYork

This upcoming September will be marked by the 8th edition of MakeUp in NewYork! As all of you already know, our shows are always organized around three pillars, the Exhibitors, the Conferences and the Animations! Let’s focus on this roundtable led by Karen Young at MakeUp in NewYork on Wednesday September 12th from 10:45am to 12pm!

More specifically, let’s focus on Karen Young in this short interview!

Karen Young

Makeup in NewYork: Karen, there’s no need to introduce you! But still, could you talk a bit about you? Your experience?

Karen Young: Before opening The Young Group in 1999, I was vice president of marketing & advertising for Lancôme, the prestige division of L’Oréal. In that capacity I also handled product development and sales promotion. Before joining Lancôme, I spent seventeen years at Estée Lauder, where I held a variety of executive positions, including director of color cosmetics. We launched The Young Group in early 1999. It has grown into a highly successful business. As a global marketing company, we provide consumer trend driven product concepts to many large beauty companies as well as help start ups enter the market. We offer brand and marketing strategy, sensorial product training, consumer trend tracking, product development and market analyses in all categories of beauty.

MUNY: Obviously the make-up universe is utterly familiar to you! Could you tell us about the profound mutations that this sector went through these past years?

K.Y.: Selfies, the internet and YouTube how-to videos have had a profound influence on the makeup industry. Indie bands that move fast and launch new products
every few months have changed the way consumers engage. Generation Y and Z are very willing to play, experiment and customize. Given everything they
have been exposed to during their lives, there’s little that they find intimidating. There’s little they won’t try. They don’t come with preconceived notions about
how products should be discovered, purchased, applied or used. Thanks to the internet, everyone is an expert, a designer, a journalist and a curator.

MUNY: In what way do those millenials thak you’ve just mentioned have different ways of consuming has we had 20°,30 years ago?

K.Y.: While everyone is focused on young consumers, the change in beauty product consumption runs across all demographics. Boomers are big online shoppers
and now have a powerful voice for demanding products that work for their needs. No one will “make do” with products that aren’t quite right for whatever reason.
40 shades of foundation has become the new normal. Micro targeted products fight pollution and treat a sunburned scalp. This, of course, pulls in the counter
trend of simplification: finding the perfect product that multi tasks and does it all.

MUNY: According to you, what is the ratio between the indie brands that are being created and those who live up to two years?

K.Y.: According to McKinsey, 80% of indie brands won’t last 2 years. The “journey” takes longer than anticipated and costs more than is budgeted.
It requires focus, determination, discipline, passion, tenacity, a team of experts, a solid strategy, a compelling story and enough money.
And not just enough money to get into the market, but enough money to fund the project for a few years.

MUNY: What will you talk about at MakeUp in NewYork?

K.Y.: The show this year will cover the industry from several vantage points:
-indie brands that are changing the beauty landscape
-legacy brands that remain hip, cool, current and compelling
-creating products with a look at what’s changing along the supply chain
-indie incubators and accelerators, which have become an industry on their own
-beauty trends from many different voices.

We thank Karen Young warmly for allowing us this interview! We hope you enjoyed!

Don’t forget to pre-register to the show to make sure you don’t miss this fascinating roundtable!