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#BBMoment: Lancôme’s Millennial Mindshare

Julia Cohen

Lancôme has existed for almost 85 years and has remained a household name in the beauty industry ever since. However, with the influx of independent, digitally native brands that appeal to younger, Millennial and Gen Z audiences, heritage beauty retailers are having to adapt their branding strategies in order to compete. Lancôme, in particular, has managed to stay consistently successful and month-on-month come out as one of the top beauty brands by Media Impact Value™ (MIV®) in comparison to its competitors. In this #BBMoment, we explore how the brand has evolved in order to retain their existing, dedicated customers, but also push themselves towards the newer customer of tomorrow. 

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Lancôme was one of the first beauty brands to implement facial recognition technology into their marketing strategy. In 2017, the brand hosted a pop-up, where beauty fanatics were able to try on products based on their looks, and makeup and style preferences. The event also offered attendees the chance to have one-to-one consultations, take part in mini makeup lessons and meet beauty influencers like Desi Perkins. This move towards a more experiential retail concept increased the ‘shareability’ of the brand as consumers took to social media to post their snaps from the pop-up using their branded hashtag. Lancôme took to crafting creative experiences in order to meet Millennials and Gen Z audiences where they are, by rejuvenating their image to retain a stronghold in the billion-dollar beauty industry.  

Leveraging Impactful Figures

Employing an influencer marketing strategy is now essential for beauty brands to succeed, but partnering with the right influencers is even more important. Lancôme sees huge payoff when it comes to their influencer marketing strategy, with 69% of their overall MIV® coming from the Influencer Voice. This is primarily because Lancôme specifically partners with Voices that particularly resonate with their values and campaigns. The beauty brand has longstanding partnerships with the likes of Chiara Ferragni, Zendaya and Lupita Nyong’o – all women who embody their #BeUnstoppable campaign. 

These Voices also particularly resonate with younger audiences with starlets Zendaya and Dove Cameron generating $1.62M MIV® and $960K MIV® respectively, over one month. Most of the top-performing influencers and celebrities for Lancôme are relatable to both Millennials and Gen Zers, but also don’t stray too far from Lancôme’s original branding as to put off already loyal consumers. Upon their announcement of Zendaya as the new face for their Idôle perfume, Françoise Lehmann (Global Brand President of Lancôme) said the new generation is “questioning the status quo, breaking free from tradition and re-defining the meaning of success)” – something “collective and beneficial for all women.”

Another strategy Lancôme relies on heavily to reach Millennials and Gen Zers is how they utilize their own channels. Interestingly, unlike most beauty brands that primarily see value via Instagram, Lancôme has quite an even channel mix, with Twitter being their top earner in terms of MIV® in December (33% overall). The brand tends to see the most value via inspirational product shots and campaigns featuring celebrity partners. The top-earning post by MIV® below was a product shot of all of Lancôme’s current perfumes as the caption asked followers to comment on their favorite product. This drums up genuine engagement from Lancôme’s existing following, encouraging users to offer their opinion and creating an open dialogue, between brand and consumer. 

Additionally, the brand has expanded its Owned Media farther afield, by launching an online event on popular Chinese social networking app, Weibo. The campaign calls for users to tag ‘you can lose everything but your makeup’ as they continue to partner with Chinese KOLs. Over two days the event garnered more than 25M reads. The brand also has a presence on Miaopai and WeChat and has managed to establish itself as a leader in the online world of beauty. 

The beauty industry’s increasing popularity isn’t slowing down, and as brands continue to compete, it is important they genuinely connect with audiences that will hold the biggest share of wallet in the future. Lancôme has created the right balance between attracting this new, lucrative customer, without alienating an already existing, loyal customer by compromising their existing brand values. 

Julia Cohen

Julia is a fashion writer and content creator based in London. She studied an MSc in Media and Communications at LSE, as well as Mandarin, Chinese, and has worked with various fashion and beauty brands within the UK.

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