• How does your selection segment its market? On what basis?
MAC segments its market according to gender, attitudes, lifestyle, brand loyalty, and price sensitivity. Age is a factor in terms of the fun, fresh, continually innovative colors that MAC uses.
• Who is the main target?
The main target market for MAC Cosmetics is women, although some specific products are targeted to the male consumer. Geography is not an issue for MAC cosmetics because the brand is marketed worldwide, and makes products for different skin colors. MAC Cosmetics are marketed to a consumer who is not necessarily price sensitive but who cares more about perceived quality and value. Also, the target market cares about branding. The lifestyle issues are important, too, as the main target market is going to exclude women in rural regions, focusing more on working professionals mainly in urban and suburban lifestyles. However, the target market is consumers caring about value and not just perceived quality and branding. MAC cosmetics is a premium, but not a luxury brand.
• How is your product / service positioned in the mind of the consumers?
MAC cosmetics are positioned based on the target market's attitudes and lifestyle. The stand-alone MAC cosmetics boutiques preclude customers from purchasing the brand from other retail vendors, making MAC seem like an exclusive product. At the same time, MAC is not positioned as a luxury or exclusive brand but more of a high quality populist product. The cosmetics are widely available in malls throughout the world, making purchases accessible to all consumers. MAC is positioned as a hip, quality, trustworthy brand of cosmetics.
• How do your product / service differentiate itself from its competitors?
MAC is differentiated from competitors, including other brands within the Estee Lauder umbrella, by physically distancing the product line from others. The exclusive retail shops make MAC seem special, not like other brands. MAC is differentiated also in terms of lifestyle: the independent and young professional will be drawn to MAC as opposed to more conservative brands because of the bright and everchanging color schemes of the cosmetics. MAC products therefore provide apt contrast to predictable and more conservative color schemes of brands targeted to an older consumer; and also to frivolous products that target an adolescent cosmetics consumer.
i. What are the core / actual / augmented level of your product?
The core level of the product, the ultimate benefit for consumers, is physical attractiveness. The actual level of the product is cosmetics, or make-up. The augmented level of the product, the added value, includes the in-store makeovers, company contributions to social causes, and the recycling of their own product packaging.
ii. attributes [features, benefits, quality level, style and design ].
The features of MAC cosmetics include the ability to develop a personalized "look" or "image" via the application of specialized cosmetic products. Some products allow for the covering of flaws and blemishes, whereas others offer the ability to enhance natural physical beauty with increased definition or attractive coloring. MAC attributes also include stylish packaging, which is also presented as eco-friendly because the company recycles or reuses its own containers. Quality level of the products is one of the core attributes of MAC cosmetics, too, which sets itself apart from drug store cosmetics accordingly.
iii. Branding [give a history about the brand name selection process].
MAC is an acroynm for Makeup Art Cosmetics ("How Was MAC Cosmetics Started -- The History of MAC Cosmetics" n.d.). The acronym is an easy-to-remember, catchy, and unpretentious alternative to the full name.
iv. Packaging [Does the packaging affect the purchasing decision?]
Packaging is simple, black, and stylish. It affects the purchasing decision in four ways: brand image; ecological image; aesthetics; and quality. The packaging promotes the brand when MAC products are used in public. Because the company takes back empty containers and reuses them, packaging is also ecological as well as economical. The color schemes are attractive, and the quality of the packaging is such that the containers do not fall apart.
v. In which stage of the Product Life Cycle is your product / service?
MAC cosmetics are still in the growth phae of the product cycle, and so is the parent company Estee Lauder (Ejiofor 2006).
i. Where is the product / service sold?
MAC cosmetics are sold in MAC boutiques, in select retail outlets, and in the online shop.