By  on June 17, 1994

NEW YORK -- To segment or not to segment? That is the question on the minds of many mass market manufacturers when it comes to marketing products in this multifaceted society.

"There is no longer one standard of beauty," said Kathy Dwyer, executive vice president of marketing for Revlon. "This forces the issue of how your products should be presented. You have to evaluate if your product line or lines represent the whole population rather than just one segment."

While the jury is still out on the best way to reach different segments of a population, one thing is clear: Segments that were once considered niches are now being focused on as more major markets.

Many companies are now looking to address teenagers, women over 35, darker skinned women, Hispanics and Asians, to name a few segments.

The debate centers around whether a company should launch a completely separate line to meet the needs of each segment or to incorporate the appropriate shades and formulations within an existing brand.

Pavion, perhaps, has taken ethnic-specific marketing the furthest. The company now markets Black Radiance, a line of color cosmetics geared to women of color, and Solo Parati, a line tailored to Hispanic women.

Both of these lines are marketed as completely separate entities from each other and from its signature Wet 'N' Wild budget-priced brand, which has a broader-based appeal.

"I don't think that you can be all things to all people," said Stanley Acker, president and chief executive officer of Pavion Ltd. "Cosmetics are such an impulse buy that you have one brief moment to get someone's attention so you have to look at the best possible opportunities and maximize."

"Besides, when you have a line that is completely developed and positioned as a separate segment, the products get bigger space and presence in store," added Lawrence Pesin, executive vice president for Pavion's fragrance division.

Making a statement and creating impact were also the reasoning behind Maybelline's decision to micro-market versus line-extend in the original Maybelline brand.

The company now encompasses Revitalizing, a line of treatment products and color cosmetics for women over 35; Shine Free, a collection of oil and blemish control cosmetics for teenagers and young women with oily skin; Shades of You, its line of color cosmetics for women of color, and classic Maybelline, its original mainstream brand.

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