For the past 25 years, L’Oreal has hosted an annual global innovation competition where it challenges teams to disrupt the future of beauty. Over 95,000 people have competed since its inception. Each year, L’Oreal selects one of its flagship brands and gives contestants the opportunity to propose and implement a groundbreaking product, service, or experience.
- Creating a complete consumer experience that would enable L’Oreal Men Expert to improve brand equity with millennials
- Developing an innovative product and service that did not exist in the L’Oreal Men Expert Portfolio
- Launching a fully integrated marketing campaign focused on established strong, long term relationships with the consumer.
- USA National Champions: Named #1 out of 114 Marketing Teams
- Selected from 25,000 Competitors as a Top 42 Marketing Team in the World
- Generated $240k*
The Face of the New Millennium is Multicultural
We were tasked with developing a breakthrough product for L’Oreal Men. Well, we believe in taking a consumer-centric approach to innovation and all signs told us that US skincare market for Men of Color (MoC) was prime for disruption.
- The sheer size of the black population is growing 35% more quickly than the rest of the US. (Nielsen)
- The average income of the black household is increasing, and more young black consumers are entering their peak earning years (Nielsen)
- Men of Color spend 34% more on personal care products (Nielsen)
- Men of Color have unique skincare needs that are unmet by existing mass market products
- We surveyed ~300 Men of Color and found that 85% still struggled with acne despite using other products
- The success of brands like Shea Moisture, Bevel, and FentyBeauty clearly indicate that this market is starving for attention (RedCode)
And the Survey Says… Unmet Skin Care Needs For All
What good is a growing market if there is no problem to be solved? Once we saw the massive opportunity in the multicultural market.
We took to the streets and surveyed about ~300 potential customers to better understand their skin care needs and how they were being met. Our survey revealed that despite using other products on the market, multicultural millennial men still struggled with the following
We validated these findings with research on that the skincare needs of millennial men of color. Research indicates increased melanin content in skin predisposes you to unique skin care challenges like hyper-pigmentation, keloids, and razor bumps. And as it stands, there aren’t products in the market that are effective, simple, and affordable. Competitors like Shea Moisture, Clinique, and Nubian Heritage are typically too expensive. And because of low brand equity and limited distribution, they haven’t been able to build the customer relationships to successfully penetrate the market.
That’s why 83% (4 of 5) said they would be interest in a L’Oreal Product tailored needs. And we believe we found the answer.
A Product Mix That Addresses Unique Consumer Needs
The Answer is NOIR. An Innovative Line of Products for the Modern Man in All of Us. The secret sauce of our product lies in their all natural ingredients. At the heart of our product is black soap, which has unique conditioning, moisturizing, and disinfecting qualities.
Our Unique blend of ingredients helps combat oily and dry skin, as well as razor bumps. And when combined with the chemical compound Allantoin, our products are ideal for healthy skin of every shade and a healthy scalp as it helps rebuild and refortify skin.
Built to Scale: Our 4-Step Expansion Strategy
Our expansion strategy begins with a soft-launch historically black colleges and universities, which provide unfettered access to a high concentration of men of color. From Central America, to South America, to Europe, to Africa.
This allows us to take a step by step approach to better understand our consumer base and gather data. This will allow us to position our brand for the Global stage.
3 Reasons We’re Starting Our Launch in The US
Diversity in Need
With the growing population of multicultural men — consumer preferences and tastes are evolving quickly. And this will require L’Oreal to adapt its product offering it wants to remain relevant.
Multicultural men are spending a lot more on their hygienic products. Up to 34% more. This creates a profitable and competitive market for our product.
Across the world, it has been widely recognized in popular culture and also validated by Nielsen consumer research that multicultural millennials are global tastemakers. They set the trends of tomorrow. So a strategy and product offering that is focused on building relationships with them, has massive potential for massive ripple effects in communities of color across the globe.
Community First Customer Engagement
Our digital strategy is unique because its both data driven and community based. Nielsen consumer research reveals that our target demographic prefers organic, content, and influencer marketing as opposed to traditional ads. Which comes at no surprise, so we’ll be using beauty, fashion, and lifestyle influencers in conjunction with major blogs to create awareness for our product and empower consumers.
As millennials skincare issues can often lead to bullying, low self-esteem, and even depression. That’s why we’re creating social programs to teach youth about skincare, health & wellness, and personal development.
We’re even providing scholarships and employment opportunities to studying STEM and business.
Show Me The Money
We believe our product should be accessible to multicultural men across the world, and our Cost Leadership model will allow us to do that. Using US Census Data and a projected market penetration rate of 5%, we estimate gross sales to be about $50MM by Year 2.
Typically R&D represents the biggest cost, but we believe we’ll be able to lower these costs by identifying synergies from related products targeting multicultural communities.
Wrapping It Up
Not only does this product satisfy a real need in the market, but it aligns perfectly with L’Oréal’s 2020 objectives. When you consider the overarching strategy of Universalization, Beauty for All, and campaigns like “Because We’re All Worth It” or the research center that just opened in South Africa — it shows that the time is NOW. L’Oréal is investing in and realizing the importance of multicultural communities.
How is it Innovative?
Its a product that’s simple, data driven, community based, and personalized.
How is it Useful?
It addresses a real need in the marketplace, and its both biodegradable and affordable
How is it Feasible?
It starts with the consumer in mind but culminates with L’Oreal objectives.
How is it Scalable?
We’re looking to create a top of the line personal care brand for men everywhere.