BERLIN — Maybelline New York is rolling out in Europe a new, colorful and trendy little sister, called MNY.
This story first appeared in the June 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lower priced, fast paced and color drenched, the cosmetics collection is aimed at a generation of young women used to finding out about products through haul videos, street fashion and beauty blogs, rather than via magazines and TV shows.
MNY was launched earlier this month in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Plans call for the brand to expand by yearend into retailers like Cubus in Norway, Lindex in Sweden and Superdrug in the U.K. There are also plans for distribution in Italy and a global rollout is slated for 2011, with the U.S. on tap for the second half of next year.
All MNY items are priced below 4 euros, or $4.92 at current exchange, and in-store displays feature a bin for Bye Buys — special promotional items priced at 1 euro, or $1.23.
MNY is aimed at consumers 15 to 25 years old, younger than Maybelline’s average 25- to 45-year-old demographic.
“They’re consumers that want trend colors and speed to market and, of course, a reasonable price,” said Ludy Schuverer, assistant vice president of marketing at Maybelline International. Still, MNY’s labeling includes the words Maybelline New York in small letters to, said Schuverer, leverage the existing relationship with both consumers and retailers — while aiming to reinvent the rules.
“Every other beauty company merchandises by form,” said Schuverer. “When you go to the wall, you see all lip together, all nail together, all eye together. We actually don’t do it that way. We have seven color families, and all different forms are within the families. So you shop by color, not by form necessarily.”
The brand has also chosen to use illustrations, rather than photographed models, to showcase makeup looks. Every two months, a limited edition collection will be launched, with the current series bearing concepts like “I am a Pop Queen” and “I am a Jungle Diva,” paired with complimentary cosmetics. Items from these collections will stay short term, so they “become more of a cult item. Something that consumers can talk about on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook,” said Schuverer.
The promotional strategy also has a twist — no traditional advertising. Instead, the animated, paint-splashed MNY Web site links visitors to existing social networks while starting up its own.
“We’re creating a community of young consumers who don’t only want to buy a product, but also want to talk about the experience of buying a product, want to exchange tips, and that is the whole point of MNY,” says Schuverer, who noted in-store displays are meant to encourage testing and playing with colors.
MNY has its competition it its sights — one example is German discount beauty brand Essence, a top seller in many European countries that also targets young women with limited edition, trendy makeup collections. Still, Schuverer believes MNY’s many shades and quick runway-to-retail turnaround put it ahead of the game.
In its first wave, MNY’s gradations of rainbow tints — from screaming acid green to creamy champagne frost — bowed at German drugstores DM and Budnikowsky; at DM in Austria, and at Switzerland’s Coop, Manor and Loeb stores. Industry sources estimate MNY could bring in retail sales of $30 million this year.