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The case study "Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends or Fads?" focuses on a new social media strategy by L'Oréal, which is based on the idea of listening to consumers first, then developing a product, which meets their needs, before marketing it. Initially, the company partnered with Google to identify emerging styles, which might endure. Then, it used social media to define the name, positioning, and launch strategy of the product.
Katrina Bens; David Dubois
Harvard Business Review (INS676-PDF-ENG)
June 23, 2014
Case questions answered:
- What’s the target market of L’Oreal? What’s L’Oreal’s positioning against its competitors? Summarize L’Oreal’s branding and 4Ps and discuss how these strategies align with their targeting and positioning strategies.
- Use web listening tools to research the three styles identified (Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair). Evaluate which is a trend (i.e., and enduring change in style) rather than a fad (i.e., a short-term craze).
- Given the trend that you choose, how do you advise L’Oreal Paris to leverage social media to build the marketing plan for the new brand?
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Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends or Fads? "Pull" and "Push" Social Media Strategies at L'Oréal Paris Case Answers
Summary – Ombre, Tie-Dye, Splat Hair: Trends or Fads? “Pull” and “Push” Social Media Strategies at L’Oréal Paris Case Study:
In this case, Marie Gulin and her Marketing team at L’Oréal Paris are determined to come up with a new, innovative hair product that will boost their company and brand above the competition. Not only are they looking to create a new product, but they must sift through various fads and define the stable trends in the hair coloring market. The potential trends they were looking to identify were the rising popularity in ombre, tie-dye, and splat hair coloring, all of which presented different opportunities and challenges.
If L’Oréal missed and picked up on a fad rather than a trend, there could be serious revenue and branding implications. Further complicating the matter is that L’Oréal needs to come up with this new product that will still be consistent with the company and brand values as well as attracting new consumers.
Finally, the success of this product launch would be very dependent on marketing efforts, especially the execution of their strategy via social media. Deciding which social platforms would reach their target market, what content to push (and pull) over those platforms, and how to properly engage their consumers to build positive associations and awareness, purchase, and repeat purchases. L’Oréal’s ability to leverage its digital marketing strategy onto their new hair dye product in a challenging and changing market is key.
L’Oréal has a wide appeal due to its diverse product line and benefits derived from their products. Both men and women use their products, however, the products are mostly targeted to women.
The men that do use it are generally aging, looking to cover up their gray hairs and feel revitalized.
The women’s target market can be segmented threefold; the 20-30-year-olds urban professionals looking to add a little color to their style, the 30-50-year-olds who have more sophisticated needs, and the aging 50+-year-olds who need gray coverage and a more basic palette of colors.
With a fairly diverse target market, the brand can afford to try a variety of things, but also needs to make sure it executes them properly to convert each segment into loyal.
Positioned very well against their competition (P&G, Unilever, etc.), L’Oréal has become an industry leader, due to their business acumen, research and development, diversity, and accessibility in their products.
It is also important to note they have mass-marketed their brands, bringing salon-quality care to the household at reasonable prices. This is a value-based position and is easy to convert to if one is a value-seeking consumer, especially for the quality of the products.
In terms of branding, L’Oréal is a parent brand (along with Garnier and Maybelline) with several children brands like Preference, Excellence, and their Casting Crème Gloss, in the hair dye sector. While these smaller brands are targeted at various age ranges, they are more mass-marketed and could have potentially been more aptly segmented to capture more representative groups.
Their products are high quality and innovative, in both quantity and quality, making them an industry leader and pioneer in bringing their products from the salon to the bathroom. In terms of pricing, they are…
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