more sensitive to quality and the experience of the product.
Today’s women are much tougher in judging value. If coming
back means she’s spending more, than I’m all for it, but for the
prestige cosmetic market, which sells beautiful products that
deliver performance, it also sells customization, education,
and a moment of service.” Freda cited MAC stores, where
consumers can learn how to apply makeup as an example of the
prestige experience. “You get emotion here, I’m not sure you get
that in a mass store. We call this ‘high touch’ service, which has
a lot of value for women,” he said.
Communication, Leadership and Competition
On the subject of communication and the Internet, Freda
said, “The digital world is a two-way communication. I see
a movement from the way of advertising to the idea of story
telling. In 10 years, we may be speaking about story tellers,
like in villages 1,000 years ago, where people of the village told
stories to the other villagers, and these [stories] traveled from
village to village. Outside North America, in Latin America or
Asia, we see the world going in different directions. The most
exciting consumer is now in Asia. They are optimistic, feeling
everything is possible, 1. 3 billion people feeling this way is
Regarding leadership, Freda said, “There’s strategy, being able
to connect thoughts to see the future, and creativity is also key.
In the end, I expect it from everyone. There’s another creativity
that comes from connecting the dots. It’s creativity that is more
accessible to individuals. I also believe in the ability to serve,
and I believe in leadership from every chair. The concept of
service is important. They may set the vision, but a good leader
knows how to serve and how to say thank you. That brings back
the power to the vision.”
When asked what keeps him up at night, Freda joked and
said, “P&G Prestige.” To elaborate, he stated, “Obviously, I
mean the capable competitors who manage mass. The real
competition is to know where the consumers of the future will
go, and the real fight is between mass and prestige. It’s going
to be a tough proposition.” He emphasized, “I want to meet
the real people. I keep physically close to the consumer, and I
read very carefully all the consumer information and data from
around the world.”
In response to Scalamandre’s query about what Freda
believed would be his key legacy, he replied, “My key legacy
point is to become a truly global company. The second element
of my legacy is that I’ve inherited a jewel. I need to give
back even better, and more recognizably at every level of the
company, and recognize and continue to utilize the talent that
makes this the company of choice for people to work. My work
will be finished when the quality of our results will reach the
quality of our people.”
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