"I think we are in the moment of reinvention of the department store, the reinvention of the specialty store formats, of direct selling, of mass," said Jung, during her keynote address at the WWD CEO Beauty Summit. "He or she who reinvents the channel fastest can win."
Jung lists herself among a new generation of business leaders "who see a dizzying pace of change across a global and political environment." She said the beauty industry should be thankful for its relative stability as it witnesses the "unprecedented demise of entire industries that have been built over decades like telecommunications, accounting, steel and travel."
While stressing her belief that beauty is not in dire straits, Jung said, still, "it is at an inflection point. We are embracing change at a much faster pace." Declared Jung, "The expected unexpected in the game has changed forever. No industry, including ours, is immune." To keep pace in a swift-moving world, brands need to willingly reinvent themselves."
Jung proposed that to keep the business viable, beauty companies should embrace a rapid pace of growth — annual double-digit increases. "If we do not unleash a faster rate of growth in this industry, I think the industry is in peril." She challenged the opinion of a London-based analyst who commented earlier in the conference that sales predictability is what investors yearned for from beauty companies. "I think predictability for the industry with 2 to 3 percent growth is not only not good enough, but I think it will lead to crisis down the road," responded Jung. "I personally am not a believer in low- to mid-single-digit gains over the long term. I think you go one way or the other."
Along with the transformation of channels and the transformation of brands, there will be a transformation of business leaders, said Jung. These new leaders will be defined, "by a new level of energy." They will also exhibit more emotional intelligence.