By  on December 1, 2011

Several of L’Oreal’s top marketers served on Cosmetic Executive Women’s Women in Beauty series Wednesday evening, speaking to the beauty industry from The Harmonie Club in Manhattan on topics including market drivers and successful social media campaigns.

The event revealed insights on both mass and prestige beauty as Silvia Galfo, vice president, Makeup and Fragrances, Marketing U.S. Lancôme, and Nathalie Kristo, senior vice president, L’Oréal Paris, both talked about the growth in their respective businesses throughout the year and their strategies moving forward.

Galfo noted how in the prestige market, there has been growth in the skin care, cosmetics and fragrance categories, results that have not materialized in 10 years. Lancôme, Galfo said, “enjoyed great growth in all three categories driven by two major things, a very solid pillar business with growth on Génifique skin care, in foundation and on Trésor fragrance. There was also innovation in new products, such as Lancôme Renergie Eye Mulitple Action.”

Kristo said growth in the mass arena also occurred, more so than in the last few years, “with a return to home hair color as users adopted a new hair color form, mousse. We also saw the color trend manifest itself in color cosmetics in lip and nail.” Hair care, she said, which has been slow for the market, has been good for L’Oréal Paris with the launch of sulfate-free hair care line Ever Sleek.

L’Oréal’s prestige business continued to deliver in the second half in all three categories, Galfo said, pushed by three major launches, including skin care’s runaway success, Visionnaire, which she said is ranked the number-two serum. Visionnaire pushed Lancôme’s growth in antiaging to twice that of the market. Galfo attributes Visionnaire’s success to innovative technology, multitasking benefits and the claim that one out of two women will postpone a cosmetic procedure after use.

While newness is keeping women in department stores, Galfo said “a strong positioning, innovation and a real experience” is what is defining Lancôme from competitors.And of course technology is changing the way beauty companies market. Kristo said a key fundamental change L’Oréal Paris is employing versus four or five years ago is “to evolve with the changing consumer whereas before we could launch a mascara with the 30-second spot and a print campaign. That’s totally different these days as the digital realm is exploding and the consumer is much more aware and sophisticated.” Kristo pointed out a campaign on Facebook that supported a new mascara where the brand put products into consumer’s hands so they could “try them, rate them and review them” online. “We have to be much more sophisticated,” she said.

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