The company is starting this push with Urban Decay, arriving in country this month. NYX will launch later in 2015.
The L’Oreal MakeUp Genius app will soon put virtual try-technology in the hands, pockets, and handbags of Australian consumers.
Developed in collaboration with facial recognition software company Image Metrics, the app came out of L’Oreal’s own tech incubator Connected Beauty in the States.
MakeUp genius is a full-service platform where consumers can discover, share and purchase the company’s cosmetics products: “The mobile phone app allows the customer to take a snapshot of their face to test out how a range of the company’s cosmetics and different colours will look on them,” Glenda Korporaal explained in her article on the L’Oreal launches for The Australian Business Review.
“They can send photos of themselves in the different makeup colours to their friends. They can then buy the product in a store or order it online using their phone,” she continued.
Owned and earned
The beauty industry is strong in Australia. Korporaal only notes “a slight dint in sales in 2011” and otherwise calls it “a highly competitive market with multinational companies such as Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson supplying the lower end and companies such as Estee Lauder, Shisedo and Chanel at the higher end.”
L’Oreal has an estimated 15% market share of the Australian cosmetics business and is ready to get even more competitive.
“The business has been very solid. It has been growing at two to three per cent a year over the last 10 years,” Rodrigo Pizarro the company’s new chief executive in Australia told the Review. “Even in the global financial crisis of 2009 the market in Australia did not go down at all. It’s quite a unique market. It keeps on growing and growing.”
L’Oreal has a global portfolio of twenty-eight brands and boasts net profits of $4.5bn for 2014. Many of the company’s distinctive brands have been gained through acquisition, like Carol’s Daughter, Urban Decay and NYX.
Urban Decay and NYX cater to 20-somethings, digitally engaged consumers, and shoppers looking for an alternative to conventional cosmetics counters.
These gateway brands will keep L’Oreal connected to a broader demographic of influential shoppers. And the company’s strategy with Urban Decay and NYX in Australia is fairly economical.
“Pizarro…sees Urban Decay as one of the company’s new digital driven products appealing to the 25- to 30-year-old women who spend a large part of their day on social media,” observes Korporaal. He casts NYX in a similar light, as a community of “makeup artists” and “beauty junkies.”
L’Oreal is establishing a local Australian team of social media professionals to monitor, respond and facilitate an array of social initiatives.