Marketing Management the Cosmetics Industry and Market Marketing Plan

Excerpt from Marketing Plan :

Marketing Management

The cosmetics industry and market continually change to present players in the field with new opportunities and threats. In the context of the dynamic and competitive industry, Estee Lauder is seeking to introduce a new product line to better serve the changing needs of customers. The new product line would be sold with the Beautiful fragrance and would be distinguished by the fact that it is based on components such as antioxidants, peptides, minerals or growth hormones. The Beautiful product line addresses women in the baby boomer category and they target issues of skin rejuvenation.

The success of the new campaign and product line is based on the identification of all threats, opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. Upon the assessment of these features, two important issues are derived -- the barrier raised to the specific market segment by the cost, and the potential threats pegged to distribution channels. The future success of the campaign and the product line is directly linked to the ability to address these issues, and this is why the marketing campaign is crafted so that it answers these specific problems.

The campaign is expected to retrieve positive results starting from the first year of retail, and an important component of this triumph would be played by the precise and dedicated control system.

2. Current marketing situation

The cosmetics industry is a highly dynamic and competitive industry, often characterized by maturity and steadiness. The cosmetics industry is mature due to the presence of numerous players in the industry and the fact that the presence and market shares of the leading firms is undeniable and suffers few modifications. In terms of steadiness, the cosmetics industry provides established companies with the benefit of constant demand due to the commodification of cosmetics products (their transformation from luxurious items into daily commodities).

The primary consumers of cosmetics products are the women, of all ages and belonging to all income categories. The consumption of cosmetics products has been gradually increasing throughout the recent past, and this is due to the fact that there is an intense pressure on the representatives of the female gender to stay young and to look beautiful for as long as possible.

The cosmetics industry has also been impacted by the changing consumer demands. The needs of customers develop rapidly and some notable examples in this sense include new demands for the cosmetics products to be safer for users, to have higher qualities, to not have been tested on animals or to be friendlier towards the environment.

The manufacturers of cosmetics products must as such operate in a manner in which they satisfy the complex needs of their clients. And aside from the clients, they also have to respond to the requests of other stakeholder categories, such as the threats or strategic developments of the competition, or the regulations imposed by governments and other regulatory institutions (Panalytical, 2011).

The macroeconomic environment in which Estee Lauder operates is highly intricate and the company has to respond to these challenges to the best of its abilities. One important feature of the macro environment is represented by the changes developed in technologies. This brings about a situation in which the firm has to investigate new technologies and allocate new funds to the purchase and usage of newer technologies.

From a strictly economic standpoint, the issue to consider mostly is represented by the internationalized economic crisis which is affecting the global consumers and restricts their buying power. The disposable incomes are as such decreased and the demand for cosmetics products could subsequently be negatively affected.

In this dynamic and quickly changing environment, Estee Lauder sets out to launch a new product line, addressing specifically the women in the X and Y segments, but mostly emphasizing on the female baby boomer consumers. The products in the Beautiful line address them as they promise younger and healthier looking skin and the identification of this distinctive market segment increases the success rates of the company by adequate resource targeting (Franklin).

Specifically, the Beautiful product line is composed from age-defying products, oil free and with SPF induced. These items are mineral based; they integrate antioxidants, and peptides. Additionally, aside from all these, the products in the Beautiful line also include growth hormones, which stimulate the cellular regeneration and the restoration of vitality. The products are expected to be groundbreaking, even more so when they would be introduced alongside with the Beautiful fragrance. Ultimately, from a marketing standpoint, the items are luxury products, meaning as such that the customers they address belong to the above average income category.

3. Opportunity and issues analysis

The best way to assess the organizational endeavor through the lenses of opportunities and issues is represented by the completion of a SWOT analysis, as revealed below.

a) Internal strengths

There are primarily two notable internal strengths which testify to the success to be achieved by the new line of cosmetics products to be launched by Estee Lauder. The first of these strengths is represented by the features of the company. Specifically, the organization is a long existing one within the market. It has built and consolidated a strong reputation and the Estee Lauder brand is one which raises consumer interest and trust (Reborn).

Additionally, the corporate commitment to innovation is guiding them along the way and ensuring more success. The company places an increased emphasis on the staff members, who are perceived as the key strengths of the company. They are the ones that drive innovation and use creativity to answer new customer demands (Website of the Estee Lauder Companies, 2011).

The second category of strengths is represented by the very specifics of the product line. In this order of ideas, the products are items with high levels of desirability among the targeted consumer market. They respond to common customer needs and they are as such highly likely to be popular and generate increased sales.

b) Internal weaknesses

At the level of the internal weaknesses, a first item of this category would be represented by the fact that the company is still unable to become the leading force of the industry. The entity is one reputable presence within the American cosmetics industry, but its results are still inferior to those of other companies, such as Revlon or Maybelline.

Another weakness is represented by the fact that the company encounters criticism, mostly linked to the support offered by Ronal Lauder to Israel. The support of Estee's son led to protests by activists supporting Palestine (Hanley, 2001). Another incident of Estee Lauder was represented by the advertisement recorded by Sandra Bernhard, promoting full lips. The commercial used some disturbing language of the actress / singer, in which she referred to "thin-lipped bitch" (Soda Head, 2006). The ad was removed from the campaign, but both incidents left a stain on the reputation and image of Estee Lauder.

c) External opportunities

The primary opportunity created by the outside environment is represented by the more intense social pressure on youth and good looks. Women -- the target market of Estee Lauder -- comprise the segment most subjected to this pressure. In such a setting, there is an increased demand for cosmetics products which can provide a younger looking appearance for consumers.

d) External threats

A first important threat is represented by the intense levels of competition. Estee Lauder operates in a highly competitive industry, in which rivalry is intense and cutthroat. The company is as such up against strong opposition by reputable cosmetics firms such as L'Oreal or other American and foreign companies.

Another threat is represented by the means in which the industry would react to the new Beautiful product line. This threat is best manifested at the level of distribution. The actual distribution strategy would be detailed throughout a following section, but, at this stage, it is important to note that the new items would be sold also within department stores. The risk is that of the distributors and intermediate vendors not responding well to the products or not allowing it enough space on the shelves.

e) Product issues

Based on the SWOT analysis previously completed, as well as the assessment of the current marketing conditions, it becomes obvious that the Beautiful product line is faced with several issues. First of all, there is the matter of the means in which the product would be received by the industry, with emphasis on the retail of the Beautiful product line.

The second issue is represented by the fact that the Beautiful product line addresses baby boomer women. A large portion of these women are already retired, and the other significant portion is about to retire in the years to come. In such a setting, it means that they are no longer enjoying the salary income, but will have to live with the pensions received from the state and the pension funds in which they had individually, and differently, invested. In this context then, and correlated with the crisis itself, the high price of the high end…

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