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Consumer Behaviour Report: Maybelline

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Introduction

“Maybelline New York” is a mass cosmetic market brand, owned by the well-known French corporation “The L’Oreal Group”. Being one of the main brand leaders in mass cosmetics category, “Maybelline” has been represented in over 120 countries since 2008.

However, in a highly competitive environment of the cosmetic market the challenge for the company is not only to capture leadership in the market but also to change the perception and image of the brand in a ways that will maximize company’s profit. This put double strain and pressure on the marketing department of the company.

In general, the brand development strategy should be focused on the customers, the target market, their goals, needs and perception of the brand. This will include reviewing business and marketing objectives, defining the target audience and social media that they use, benchmarking and analyzing competitors, creating advertisement and PR campaigns etc.  All these components have to be evaluated very carefully and rigorously, as amongst them lays the key to the success of the brand.

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The purpose of the given report is to define marketing strategy for the “Maybelline”, its target market, or in other words consumer audience, challenges, opportunities and key trends of the chosen brand, and to provide consumer behavior analysis.

The key trends that will shape the brands future

Nowadays looking as celebrity is one of the most popular trends among young women in all western culture countries. Popular actresses and singers are considered “cool” by both women and men because they are famous for their achievements and talent, unlike models, who are known just for their looks. This sets the main goal for the company’s advertising strategy is finding the celebrity who would be a worthy representative of the brand in advertising campaign. As not every singer or artist will bring success to the advertising campaign due to the reputation this person might hold. It should be a good looking young person, well-known in the selected target countries, admired by young women for either her career in the art world or for her life position. For example, Hollywood actress Sarah Michelle Gellar was chosen as a model for “Maybelline” advertising campaign in 1999. As an innovative and popular brand, “Maybelline” plans to continue involving celebrities in the advertisement of the new products of the company, as it makes their target audiences feel a little bit closer to their celebrity idols through using the brand of cosmetics they advertise.

Another key trend for advertisement campaigns of the company is involving multi-ethnic models in the promo videos and photo shots. The company understand that when targeting their customers in various countries they need to find a person who is an idol for exactly that country. Even though many brands have a appreance type for their  celebrity representatives, “Maybelline” has been known to be diverse in the cultural and ethnicity of their models, depending on the target country and region (Europe, Asia, USA, South America etc).

One more key trend of “Maybelline” brand development is using social media as an effective and powerful advertising channel. With a worldwide usage of Internet, social media and instant messengers, it has become much easier to share updates on the company’s products, news, and opinions of the customers. And the company has been successfully using, in not to say abusing, this feature to its own advantage, promoting new product and developing further their brand name.

Maybelline has been focused on selling women’s make-up since it was established in 1915, however, according to the latest researches there is a huge surge in sales in this market, especially in the BRIC countries. Due to modern trends focusing on males appearance, it is not a shock that male make up is now available on the market. “Maybelline” could use this opportunity and launch its own male based grooming products. This would become another important step on the way to proclaiming the brand superiority on the market of not only female cosmetic products, but move into the male section.

Style perspectives of the “Maybelline” brand include products’ participation in the fashion shows and events. This would enable actual and potential customers to feel like they are using newest and popular cosmetic products that are in fashion.

In the age of plastic surgery and wide opportunities for women to change their appearance, individualism has become a new trend. Considering this factor, company should produce products which are specially made for individual customers. Or the products where the customer can invest her ideas and personalise, make them her own. For example put together a set of shades   out of given colour spectrum.

Each year a number of people, who care about environment and their health, limit their cosmetic usage to only organic and eco-friendly products increases greatly. This is also a factor for consideration by the company, as the number of “friends of the earth” on our planet is growing, particularly in the western societies. Creating line of “Eco” cosmetics, made from purely organic components might can be a very smart move. To position “Maybelline” as a nature friendly company, they should think about packaging their products into bio degradable materials, this should concern not only the organic line, but all the other products too. This will inevitably raise the image of the company in the eyes of society.

Consumer segmentation

Typical “Maybelline’s” core target audience is young ladies of the age 16 to 25, but there are also products for women of above 30 years old.

Pen portrait of “Maybelline” customer can be the following: a 26 year old lady named Michelle, who is an office manager in Leeds, UK. She is in a relationship and planning to start a family of her own in the nearest future. Michelle is sexy, confident, good looking and groomed, she likes to keep fit and goes in for sports in her spare time. She also likes to go out with her fiancée and friends, therefore she needs a makeup that would be easy to apply in the morning, but long-lasting enough for the night out. Michelle applies both day and night makeup, depending on the appropriate situation and she has several shades of compact powder, foundation, various eye shadow colours of  “Maybelline” brand. Additionally, Michelle likes to spend her summer vacation by the sea in the Southern Europe and she actively uses bronzers, highlighters and blushes during summertime in order to create sun tanned look. She chooses Maybelline over another competitor brands because of the reasonable pricing and availability of the products in the nearest drug store or supermarket, as well as, reasonable pricing .

From the economic perspective “Maybelline’s” target, market is influenced by the world economic recession, which has a negative impact on a UK cosmetic market as well. Confidence is considered a luxury in the current economic situation, at the same time, according to the surveys; most of British women feel more confident when they wear a makeup.  The makeup industry delivers a “feel good” factor, consequently sales in the given market segment have continued to grow despite the recession. As especially  at uncertain and unstable times women would prefer to feel confident at least in their looks if not in the future. Consumers are looking for the best value for their money due to the recession and “Maybelline” can fully satisfy customers’ needs in that regard. As the company provides great quality price ratio, and availability of the brand in number of stores it attracts many consumers of the brand,  or even the people who were not using it before, but have to cut back on their spending due tough financial times.. Consumers can simply drop by the nearest drug store on the way home from work, which saves them time and money for the additional travel. 

“Maybelline” brand is targeted to expand into the senior female cluster of the age over 35, as well as into the men’s market segment. However, the brand is not well established and widely purchased on any of these markets. This requires a lot of expensive and extensive research for a company to do, in order to enter both of those markets at a proper time and in a proper way. As the research of this kind is very expensive, the company should carefully weigh the costs of doing the research and development of the products versus expected success on the desired markets.

Company is also aiming to increase its share on the South American and Asian mass cosmetic markets. The new target markets can be obtained by the social media promotion and advertising on the properly chosen channels, to reach needed audiences. Nowadays social media has become an important marketing tool for promoting goods and services on the market, however, it is very important to chose the right media to promote the products in order to reach the desired segment on the market. Therefore, “Maybelline” can use the social media to promote their cosmetics products into the new target markets in order to increase their market share and profits.

Conclusion

Summarizing all the above, one can conclude that analysis of consumer behaviour for “Maybelline” plays an important role for identifying company’s marketing strategies, its strengths and weaknesses. Identifying cosmetic market trends, market segmentation, challenges and opportunities is crucial in order to increase current market share and profit of “Maybelline”.

Last but not least, understanding of consumer behaviour will provide  the company with benefits for marketing and public relations campaigns and will allow “Maybelline” to improve consumer experience and satisfaction. 

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