Monday, 20 January 2014

Brand Essence Assignment

Lavender Lady here!

Today I'll be discussing one of the most well-known beauty brands:  L’Oréal Paris. It's a division of L’Oréal Group which was founded in 1909 and originally produced hair-dyes exclusively. The brand expanded into other areas of the beauty industry and has grown into a household staple. Its motto, "Because you're worth it," encompasses L’Oréal's idea that every woman should know her self-worth and embrace her beauty. L’Oréal is a leader in beauty innovation and technology and monopolizes multiple areas of the beauty industry such as: hair colour, care and style, skin care and cosmetics. It delivers affordable luxury world-wide.

The beauty industry is over-saturated with products and brands all promising to do the same things. How does a company stand out in a department store full of similar items? How does it stay relevant in an industry bombarded with new names and enticing beauty endeavours? Those are only a few threats beauty brands constantly face. L’Oréal Paris has an advantage of being a globally recognized, trusted brand. Its products are easily accessible in any lower-end department and drug store. While it offers a range of beauty products and innovative trends, it finds its success amongst beauty lovers by doing simple things very well. L’Oréal Paris has built a reputation of achievement through consistently effective cosmetics. Obviously, not every product will be an absolute hit but the ones that are, such as its Voluminous mascara, resonates with consumers. 

Price can go either way for L’Oréal Paris. For lower socio-economic buyers, its prices cannot compete with inexpensive brands such as Rimmel and Wet n' Wild, but it's a strong competitor to high-end cosmetics. L’Oréal Paris is a luxury discount brand which is evident in its advertising, products and packaging. You can get quality for less, and this is essential in a competitive market. When facing cheaper brands, its glamorous appeal may warrant that it is "worth" the extra few dollars. While compared to expensive brands, it has the appeal of cost-effective luxury. 

The opportunities provided by social media are endless. We live in a referral culture and websites like MakeupAlley and beauty blogs are incentives to make quality merchandise. If your product doesn't do what you promised, everyone will know instantaneously. If, like previously mentioned Voluminous mascara, your product is effective, it becomes beauty standard. L’Oréal Paris has a very strong online presence. The U.S. Facebook page has 2.1 million likes and contains cross-platform, engaging content. L’Oréal Paris mastered Twitter by live-tweeting red carpet looks and ways to recreate them using its products last year, and this year has dedicated a new website to award season. This is the innovation required to remain relevant in a social media age. 

A growing trend the brand must face is increasing interest in "green" beauty. There are many new brands on the market targeting consumers interested in environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging. While many of these brands haven't been able to compete with larger beauty brands in quality of product, it is certainly a trend worth monitoring. Consumers are now demanding to know about the ethics of products, especially in respect to animal testing. L’Oréal has tried to remain transparent on this issue by releasing a statement and informing the public that it only tests on animals when absolutely necessary. 

Check out my Youtube video comparing L’Oréal Paris to a few of it's key competitors! You can find the text version of this video here

An Elegant, sophisticated, stylish  woman 

That is what I envision when personifying L’Oréal Paris. The brand empowers women by allowing them to indulge and feel glamorous, almost as a form of escapism. It offers stylish beauty advice through its strong online presence and is easily accessible to consumers. L’Oréal Paris helps women of all backgrounds and budgets to affordable luxury. The brand cares about providing expert, inventive beauty products to consumers. It strives to make women believe that they deserve to treat themselves by investing in their beauty. It has contributed the L’Oréal foundation, which sponsors science for women, encouraging and promoting the role of women in scientific research. It joined forces with UNESCO to fight the spread of aids and raise awareness. L’Oréal Paris is also involved in Opération Sourire, which aims to rehabilitate those affected by war, illness and malnutrition. Médecins du Monde provides surgeons and health care to war-torn and impoverished countries. Though successful, L’Oréal Paris can aspire to grow in the field of ethical beauty. It has yet to be entirely cruelty free which is off-putting to many consumers. It would also benefit by extending its reach into more natural, environmentally friendly beauty products and packaging. At the moment, the message it instills in the consumer's mind is that you deserve the best in beauty, and L’Oréal is there to provide it. 

An affordable cosmetics brand that creates innovative beauty and empowers consumers, helping them understand they deserve to treat themselves by using L’Oréal Paris products.

You can read my full positioning statement description here

My Sources