5 questions to leaders in consumer and retail: Isabel Neudeck, L’Oréal Luxe
Isabel Neudeck is the managing director of L’Oréal Luxe Germany and Austria. She is responsible for all luxury brands incl. retail, wholesale and ecommerce and shares her experiences in the unique year 2020. She has a very successful track record of over 20 years in the L’Oréal group in various key roles.
1.Where are you right now, physically?
I am on a summer break after some quite intense last months – leading the team and the business through the covid19 crisis has been a unique challenge. At the same time it was very resourceful and transformational for me as a people leader and business responsible. Everyone deserved to have holidays now – the entire team and myself.
2.What was your biggest surprise or positive learning this year?
The covid19 crisis is a positive, strategic accelerator. We developed a strategic transformation roadmap in 2019 for 2023 – In many aspects we managed to transform our business much faster than expected, for example when it comes to digitisation or ways of working. We achieved in 3 months what we originally planned in 3 years’ time.
3.Where is your company in the process of digitising the business? What’s to come or what has been implemented this year?
Digitisation happens in all areas of our company – since many years digitisation is a strategic pillar of our roadmap, not only since the covid19 crisis. Ecommerce plays an important role in our distribution footprint, we make more than 30% of our business already online. Furthermore we will investigate even stronger in the future in data generation & activation, Digital services and beauty tech as well as in conversational, personal digital communication.
4 What is your biggest client challenge post-covid?
The distribution footprint of the beauty industry is changing dramatically. Online business is on the rise (own websites, Pure Players, e-retailers) and we still did not reach the plateau. At the same time classic (offline) retail is challenged and we need to collectively re-imagine retail for the future. What will be the role of retail for beauty cosmetics: Point of Experience vs Point of Sale? Retailtainment as a differentiation hook? How important will the “Human Factor” be in the future? Or how can we digitise the services even at brick’n’mortar retail? How can we link the online & offline world to express the magic of the brands in a new omnichannel reality? In a nutshell, we face many strategic opportunities and challenges in retail and we are looking forward to approach them.
5. The classic “why” question on purpose: Why does your brand and business exist?
Our company operates in the (luxury) beauty industry. Our mission is to „make life more beautiful“ – for our consumers, clients, employees and our society. The broad range of beauty products and services we offer will help to beautify our lives- also and especially in the current covid19 crisis. Have you ever heard about the lipstick effect? It is the theory that when facing an economic crisis consumers will buy goods that have less impact on their available funds. They will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods – instead of buying expensive jewellery or watches, for example, people will buy (luxury) like lipsticks. Today lipsticks may be an issue with everyone wearing masks. But we are optimistic that the lipstick effect, generally speaking, will also be the case in the current covid19 crisis.
Thank you Isabel and to all readers for staying tuned. Stay Safe. Stay strong.
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