Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Innovation is key to L’Oréal’s new strategy

L’Oréal UK Marketing Division (Source: L’Oréal UK Website)

In most industries today, getting messages through to the target market is becoming increasingly difficult with the number of distribution and communication channels continuing to grow. The challenge this poses for brands is that they need to become more innovative with their marketing strategies (as well as the actual product itself) in order to remain relevant within the market, and for their brand to continue to resonate with the consumer.

In a recent interview with Marketing Week, Michel Brousset, current L’Oréal UK managing director, spoke about the importance of innovation from a branding perspective, as well as what it takes to engage the modern consumer; ‘The world around us is changing dramatically. When I started in marketing in the US, product features and benefits were a big part of why consumers buy a product. Today, consumers are interested in the values of the brand.’

Although typically brand values encapsulate a range of social, ethical and corporate issues, what Michel Brousset seems to suggest is that innovation should also play a big role, whereby the brand should also be known for developing innovative product offerings that the consumer continues to need and want. A great example of a brand that has successfully implemented such a strategy is Gillette, who has continued to innovate their products by integrating it with technologies that their customers never knew they needed, but are more than willing to buy because this innovation re-enforces that ‘Gillette is [still] the best a man can get’.

Admittedly it is quite easy for brands to get carried with innovation and chase after ‘world first’ technologies, but perhaps where their focus needs to lie, is in ensuring that these technologies actually cater to the needs of the consumer. This is no new concept in itself, but still a great reminder that marketing is a consumer focused activity, and so as marketers, it is our responsibility to engage the consumer, and continue doing so from both a product and branding level.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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