Word count: (equivalent to 1500 words)Task weighting: 40%Case studyL’Oréal: are you worth it?L’Oréal sells cosmetics and toiletries to consumers around the world. One market that has certainly been booming lately is that for hair care products. Brands such as Elvive, Lancôme, Helena Rubenstein and Kérastase, part of the L’Oréal stable, are capitalising on this trend. In one sense, L’Oréal’s hair care products – shampoo, conditioners, styling agents – are no more than careful mixtures of chemicals with different smells and colours. But L’Oréal knows that when it sells shampoos and conditioners, it sells much more than a bottle of coloured or fragrant soapy fluids – it sells what the fluids can do for the women who use them.Many hair care products are promoted using alluring chat-up lines: ‘Your hair is instantly shinier, stronger, healthier, and getting better and better and . . .’. Who would believe that shampoos and conditioners thatare designed to rinse away can have any lasting benefits? But women do not see shampoos and conditioners that way. Many things beyond the ingredients add to a shampoo’s allure. While hair is dead, it is organic, so will respond to some care and attention. Many consumers believe that their favourite shampoo does more than wash away the grit in their hair; it makes them feel good about themselves.Thanks to recent scientific breakthroughs, many hair care products can make a difference. The L’Oréal laboratories in Paris, employing 2,500 employees, dedicate over £180 million a year to R&D. This investment pays. For example, Kérastase, part of the L’Oréal group, developed Ceramide F – a synthetic copy of naturally occurring hair ceramides – which reconstructs the hair’s internal structure. Sounds far fetched? But consumers say it works. Kérastase Forcintense revitalises hair that is severely damagedthrough colouring, overstyling or perming. Other L’Oréal product innovations include colour and conditioning agents – Majirel, Majirouge and Majiblond – for treating fading hair colours due to washingor sunlight, and special formulations – Majimèches – for blondes. All these functional benefits enable L’Oréal to promote the brand’s superior performance benefits to consumers. The wash-in, wash-outnature of hair care suggests that product performance alone may be sufficient to satisfy users. Hairstylist Sam McKnight says that it is an emotionally charged marketplace: a bad hair day means an unhappywoman. There is also a limit to what all the scientific breakthroughs in hair care can do for how a woman feels when she has had a hair wash.McKnight argues that scents and colours must be chosen carefully to match women’s desires, moods and lifestyles. His new range of products eschew science and concentrate on the smell. Called ‘Sexy’, they are expensive, exclusive and smell like no other shampoo has ever smelled before. Additionally, hair care brands have done well because of the advertising spends that have gone in to promote shampooing as a pleasurable pastime rather than an activity akin to doing a load of washing. L’Oréaland rival firms know just how important this is. Brands such as Elvive, Pantene (by Procter & Gamble) and Organics (by Elida/Lever Fabergé) have advertising spends that will make a girl’s hair curl. L’Oréal’sleading brand Elvive also tries to capture the essence of pleasure using advertisements that sound tempting: ‘Because I’m worth it’, says L’Oréal.Companies also have to play on the shampoo’s name, an important product attribute. Names such as Sexy, Dream Hair Sensational and Frizz-Ease suggest that the shampoos and conditioners will do something more than just wash your hair. L’Oréal must also package its hair care products carefully. To consumers, the bottle and package are the most tangible symbols of the product’s image. Bottles must feel comfortable, be easy to handle and help to differentiate the product from other brands on the shelf.So when a woman buys hair shampoos and conditioners, she buys much, much more than simply soapy fluids. The product’s image, its promises, its feel, its name and package, even the company that makes it, all become a part of the total product. Hope in a bottle or just so much hype? The answer: it’s up to each of us to decide whether we’re worth it.Management want you to establish a marketing mix that will improve marketing outcomes. Their main objectives are:o To change customers’ perception about the product’s position in the marketplace.o To increase sales of the products by 20% within two months of implementing the revised marketmix.o To achieve ten new customer contacts on the database per month to assist with personalpromotion of products and/or services.Your tasksThis assessment requires you to establish a suitable marketing mix for L’Oréal haircare products.(you may choose to focus on a specific haircare product/brand in the L’Oréal line-up or focus on the entire L’Oréal haircare range in general)You are required to do the following.o Complete Tasks 1 and 2.o Read the case studyo Research and analyse the External forces that will affect the marketing mix you establish.o Establish a suitable marketing mix.• Write a 1500-word report
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