Laura Mercier is restaging globally, starting with a new look.
“The consumer research we do tells us that the potential is global,” said Marc Rey, chief executive officer of Shiseido Americas. “Laura Mercier portrays an image of beauty that is aspirational but attainable. It’s something most women can project themselves in very easily. That’s very global. The whole Shiseido organization is behind the brand.”
The prestige makeup brand was acquired by Shiseido Co. Ltd. for $260 million in 2016 — coinciding with its 20th anniversary — and was the corporation’s first purchase after Rey joined in 2015. Industry sources estimate that the restage will bring in between $350 million and $400 million at retail.
Under president and chief executive officer Masahiko Uotani, Shiseido has been working to strengthen its global presence, in part by pushing expansion in its prestige brands. Last week, Shiseido’s namesake brand announced the relaunch of its color offerings. Next up is Laura Mercier.
In September, Laura Mercier will relaunch its Web site and will simultaneously begin rolling out new store designs that blend elements of both New York and Paris. The store counters will feature videos, with which customers can view tutorials, and will include face, powder and lip bars that will highlight the brand’s strengths — face and powders — as well as its forthcoming expansion upon its lip and eye offerings.
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“We’re number one in loose powder, we’re number one in tinted moisturizer and we’re a leading brand in primer. That will always be at the core because that’s the heritage of the brand,” said Alexandra Papazian, global general manager of Laura Mercier. “These pillars are still growing 20 years later and they’re growing double digit. You can expect innovation in the face category and huge acceleration in the lip and eye categories, which are big, big opportunities for Laura Mercier.”
Papazian, who joined Shiseido in 2017 after 15 years at L’Oréal, said that the U.S. and U.K. still account for “the bulk of the business,” with Asia and travel retail as the biggest opportunities for growth. To further establish itself as a global brand, Laura Mercier will unveil a new logo that Papazian said embodies the brand’s “bilingual” roots.
“The addition of Paris and New York to our brand name and logo is to anchor the brand in this bilingual language,” said Papazian. “We’re a bilingual brand, we’re both Paris and New York. Everything is super sharp, modern, edgy, but not trendy.”
Product packaging will be updated to reflect the new logo starting in January.
The campaign images exude a “European sensibility blended with the modernity of New York” and star models Alicia Burke, Joséphine LeTutour, Louise Follain and Claire Guena. Papazian said that femininity and sensuality are “at the core” of Laura Mercier’s creative vision, and the brand has made an effort to work more with female photographers and crews.
Laura Mercier the woman remains involved with the brand, said Papazian, especially when it comes to product development, education and recently, social media. Papazian said the brand is ramping up both its social media and influencer strategies, and has built an internal team to engage in influencer relationships on a global scale. Celebrity makeup artist and KKW Beauty collaborator Mario Dedivanovic continues to be a brand ambassador.
“The overarching vision that we have is to make artistry effortless. In the age of social media, of live demo, this brand has deeply in its DNA this idea that it should be easy and it should be attainable,” said Papazian. “The work has been about creating an aspirational image, but making it approachable, which is quite interesting because we did not reinvent. It’s there. It’s always been there with the brand.”
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