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Meet the FACC Ambassador: Colleen Carlotto, New Product Launch Manager, Estée Lauder
Member news | January 21, 2020
In a world of ever changing beauty trends, FACC Ambassador Colleen Carlotto plays a defining role in bringing new products to market with the innovative and globally renowned beauty company, Estée Lauder.
Estée Lauder is part of ‘The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.’, which is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company's products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under different brand names including: Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, DKNY, Estée Lauder, MAC, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Too Faced, Tory Burch and many more.
Take a look into the full interview to learn more about Colleen’s journey, her current position at Estée Lauder and her experience with the French American Chamber of Commerce.
FACC: As a frontrunner for a prestige beauty organization, what motivates you to get out of bed each morning and be the leader that you are?
CC: As a New Product Launch manager, I often need to lead a development team without authority. Building collaborative relationships is an imperative part of this role. When I was new to the company, I read a book authored by William Lauder, the grandson of Estée Lauder called ‘Decision Making in the Leadership Chair.’ it showed me the commitment Estée Lauder Companies has for developing employees at an individual level. The people, the Estée Lauder culture, and my personal passion for the beauty industry are key drivers for me in this role.
FACC: Which country do you think is currently the world hub of innovation in the skincare arena and will continue to win the skincare innovation race in 2020?
CC: Growth in the skincare market is not likely to stop anytime soon. However, I think skincare experiences the same consistent, trend changes as makeup. For a few years there was a push to include SPF in all cosmetic products (primers, foundations, etc.). Now, that trend is slowing as consumers realize a stronger, SPF-specific use product is more effective than layering SPF. In terms of skincare innovation, I think there is a lot of work being done globally. Asian consumers are extremely conscientious of their skincare routine, but I think the wellness push in the US along with increasing beauty spending in US consumers will drive US-based companies to continue investing R&D dollars in new, innovative skincare products. Skincare routines are also already seeing a rise in combining historical skincare products (moisturizers, lotions, SPF) with tools (electronic face masks, electronic exfoliators, rollers). It will be exciting to watch the next generation of skincare products emerge.
FACC: Have you recently observed shifts in perspective or trends in beauty (skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care) that have really taken you by surprise?
CC: The biggest observation from my corporate seat in the beauty industry, is the constantly shifting trends in the industry. Despite consumers being at the heart of the constant new trends, I think most people do not realize how quickly trends can change. The development team often must reevaluate the program scope or timing throughout a new product launch to ensure the product is still going to meet consumer needs. Given the global reach of the company, different market trends need to be considered. Preferences also vary generationally. The Estée Lauder Companies has created a diverse brand portfolio and strategically builds out each new product launch calendar to accommodate these incredibly diverse and constantly changing demands.
FACC: Which is most important to your organization—mission, core values or vision? Why?
CC: While I cannot speak for the company as whole, I believe the most important part of our business is our mission, “Bringing the best to everyone we touch and being the best in everything we do.” In such a fast-paced industry, it is not always the easiest to be the global leader in prestige beauty. Being a large company can provide leverage, but it comes with a lot stricter regulation and can be more challenging to pivot to constantly changing market demands. I have been extremely impressed with Estee Lauder’s commitment to quality and consumer engagement through our new product launches – the Estée Lauder brand does a really great job combining historical knowledge of the industry with a passion to adapt to meet future consumer needs.
FACC: As an Ambassador and Member of the FACC-NY, are there any other members that have inspired you as a leader?
CC: Since I became a member, I have attended FACC events at least once a month and I can honestly say I meet at least one amazing new member at every event. The FACC community is full of people who are passionate about their careers and about life. The FACC Ambassador program has been an exciting opportunity to learn and grow with a smaller group of FACC members, getting to know and meet with these members more regularly has taught me a lot about myself and about leadership. It is really a privilege to have a strong network across a wide range of industries that I can lean on when I need a second or third opinion.
Interested in connecting with Colleen? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.