Nine years after introduction of Plénitude to the US market, LOréal was still making losses. Some of the treatment creams were successful as niche products (e.g. Revitalift) but to be able to succeed in the daily moisturiser market, LOréal has to reposition its value proposition for the mass market. Analysis
LOréal was an established brandname in the US for haircare products, which should have eased successful market entry into the facial cream category. By introducing Plenitude, a new brand with a foreign sound, L'Oreal had not established category membership effectively for each range of products. Customers either were not aware of or did not appreciate the key points of parity to make this connection. The marketing mix was not tuned to the US customer and therefore the key message was lost to clarify the product benefits to the customer. Plenitude had become market leader in France by targeting all potential buyers. However, the demographic usage in France appears different from the US, where usage of face creams is used over a more diverse age range. US advertisements were based on a successful french marketing campaign, where one product offered the benefit of reducing signs of aging' , displayed with a french-looking' woman. Two of the five skin care segments were targeted, only 40% of the total market. This resulted in entry into the treatment cream market - more of a niche market than the market for daily facial creams. The results of the perceptual mapping (exhibits 9 and 10) indicate Plenitude offers advanced technology and would appeal to premium customers prepared to spend higher prices for the best results. This suggests L'Oreal's target market selection is correct but the positioning is misaligned. The packaging of the products displayed high levels of information (exhibit 12) and the point of sale design represented a drugstore feel' (exhibit 5a). This appealed to customers who were technically aware and taglines had a...
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