Monday, September 5, 2011

L’Oreal Lights it Up

It's always fun to get my readers contributing to mackalskionmarketing. The write up below gives some insights by Bianca Labelle on cosmetics branding. Let's take a look.

I’m a big fan of cosmetics. When applied and worn properly, cosmetics can beautify and glamorize its wearer- and transform her looks and her attitude.

I am not alone of my interest in cosmetics. Cosmetics are loved from Japan to Argentina. One British study (Britain is not usually a country associated with heavy cosmetics usage) found out some interesting things about women and cosmetics:

  • The typical woman spends an average of $150,000 in her lifetime on cosmetics (source).
  • From the age of 16, a woman will shop for mascara, foundation and lipstick at least five times a year, spending at least $50 each time. (source)
  • The average woman spends nearly 20 minutes a day perfecting her look. That is almost a complete year of her life getting ready to look great!(source)
  • 70 per cent of women never leave the house without applying some form of cosmetics, and that a fifth of the nation's boyfriends have never seen their partners without make-up.(source)
  • Two thirds of women surveyed said they would rather buy make up than go on a dinner date. (source)

Such a large demand for cosmetics naturally attracts competition. Not surprisingly, the cosmetics industry has a lot of competitors. Walk down any cosmetics aisle in a drug store and you’ll see product after product and brand after brand selling beauty. lists over 300 different cosmetics brands- and that number explodes when you consider all of the sub brands. My point is this. If you manage a cosmetic brand, it is really tough to get attention in when there are so many competitors. That’s why L’Oreal impressed me a lot with something they have done.

I was checking out the new eye shadow and I noticed L’Oreal’s new in-store brand presentations. You can see a picture below.

I find this display to be very effective for many reasons.

  1. It is the brightest display in the store, helping to attract attention to the L’Oreal brand and its products.
  2. The orderly alignment of the hangers/shelves means that there are no obstructions to the L’Oreal brand and product presentation. The brand name and logo are easy to see because the design of the display forces the retailer to present the brand name/logo/packaging facing the consumer.
  3. The presentation aligns the brand to what the brand is about. L’Oreal is selling beauty and glitz. The vibrant lighting reflects off of L’Oreal products’ shiny packaging- giving a jewel-like sparkle to the packaging (and by transitivity, to the L’Oreal brand).
  4. The brighter light makes the “small print” of the packaging easier to read. This is a very important point. Watch women make cosmetic purchases. They spend a lot of time in the store examining brands and products. Why? Most women purchase cosmetics because they want to feel that they are looking great. Therefore, reading packaging for instructions, product benefits (e.g. transform your lashes from dull to full), and ingredient information is a pivotal part of the purchase process.
  5. Finally, by contrast, other brand displays look dark (almost unclean) compared to the bright, glamorous, perfectly presented L’Oreal. It is almost as if L’Oreal is saying, “if we can present our packaging this perfectly and cleanly, think of how good we can make you look!"


  1. I agree..because I always look more luminous...when I wear a little mascara! ;)

  2. It also shows the colors in "ideal light". How often would "ideal light" be in the real world. Nevertheless, a great marketing ploy.

  3. Interesting blog - first one I've seen which discusses cosmetics. It would be very interesting to see more thoughts on branding for women. Thanks for this!

  4. This is certainly very impactful at-shelf.

    I do, however, wonder what the P&L for this initiative would look like. How much incremental volume would have to go through in order for this to pay out?

    Further, I wonder how long it took to convince the retailer to let them do this. Installing such a permanent light fixture on shelves in all its stores will likely increase operating costs and impact the bottom line for the retailer as well.