MAYBELLINE RETURNS TO ITS YOUTH
Byline: Cara Kagan
NEW YORK — Maybelline is turning back the clock. For the last year, the company has shifted its attention to older consumers by targeting department store shoppers over 35 with its Revitalizing line of makeup and moisturizers. The move was originally viewed as a marketing breakthrough, but it backfired.
Last month, when Maybelline reported a 42.7 percent drop in third-quarter earnings to $3.7 million compared with $6.5 million a year ago, Robert N. Hiatt, the company’s president, blamed the drop partly on lower-than-anticipated sales of Revitalizing.
Next year, therefore, the spotlight will swing back to a younger generation, from consumers in their early teens to those well into their 30s — Maybelline’s traditional audience.
“While we will still continue to heavily support and promote Revitalizing,” Hiatt said,”our emphasis is shifting back to our base brand.”
Although Maybelline is refocusing efforts on its younger base, the company is not turning its back on the over-35 market. It is launching two new Revitalizing products next year and its core brand is designed to attract women of all ages.
The company had virtually no new products in its core Maybelline color cosmetics brand this year, but in 1995 it will launch five items, along with two Revitalizing products.
It will increase its total advertising budget by 10 to 12 percent to an estimated $45 million to $50 million.
In January, Maybelline will launch Lash-by-Lash mascara and Revitalizing Alpha Hydroxy Make-Up in an effort to become more technologically innovative in an increasingly competitive market.
Maybelline is also stepping up efforts to be more fashion-forward in its shade selections. Throughout the second quarter, the company will roll out Revitalizing Alpha Hydroxy Intensive Night Cream, Natural Defense Make-Up foundation, the Natural Accents collection of eye shadows and blushes, Smoked Kohl Eyeliners and a revamped selection of its Long Wearing and Moisture Whip lipsticks.
As part of the spring launches, a new display unit that the company calls Vista 1-2-3 is set to be shipped to roughly half of Maybelline’s 80,000 mass-market doors.
Hiatt said he expected the launches, display and increased advertising to generate a U.S. sales growth of 8 to 9 percent in 1995.
While he declined to discuss sales or advertising specifics, industry sources estimated that an increase of 8 or 9 percent would give Maybelline a U.S. wholesale volume of approximately $352 million.
According to company executives, Maybelline’s strategy for next year is to lure more department store shoppers into mass outlets.
“Our ongoing research has shown us that one-third of Revitalizing customers came to us from department stores,” Hiatt said. “We see no reason why we can’t get the younger prestige clientele to shop our walls.”
Maybelline hopes to achieve this with a new emphasis on fashion-forward shades, high technology and more detailed information on its new merchandising unit.
“Traditionally, when you think of high tech, Maybelline does not instantly spring to mind,” said Cathy Wills, executive vice president of marketing. “We are looking to change consumer perception through bringing high-performance products to the mass market. Consumers are now looking for cosmetics products that not only color the skin, but have treatment benefits, as well.”
“We have this image of having a lot of aquamarine shadows in our line,” Hiatt said, adding that as a result, Maybelline’s palette is considered old-fashioned by younger consumers. “Even though this hasn’t been true for years, it is a tough image to beat. We are planning to do it next year.”
To update its image, Maybelline will launch Lash by Lash mascara in January, with a suggested retail price of $5.25 per tube.
Lash by Lash’s distinctive feature is a double-wiper system. Conventional products contain one chamber in the mascara tube that is designed to wipe excess product from the brush. The Lash by Lash brush, however, is pulled through two chambers so it is wiped twice. The company says this method enables Lash by Lash to define and separate lashes without clumping.
The Revitalizing foundation is an oil-free product that contains alpha-hydroxy acid and an SPF 10. Like the original Revitalizing foundations, the alpha-hydroxy version contains ingredients that reflect light and are designed to diffuse fine lines. Maybelline maintains that the new makeup is the first foundation on the market to utilize alpha-hydroxy acid technology. It was created to provide color and coverage while improving skin tone and texture.
Each of the seven shades will have a suggested retail of $8. Revitalizing Alpha Hydroxy Intensive Night Cream will bow during the second quarter next year. The cream, designed for nighttime use, contains a higher concentration of acid than Revitalizing’s daytime moisturizers. The formula also has Nanospheres, which are designed to provide continuous moisturization, as well as Elastin to improve skin texture.
On the classic Maybelline color front, the company will launch Natural Defense Make-Up during the second quarter of 1995. The lightweight foundation was designed to protect the skin from environmental stresses, has an SPF 12, anti-oxidants to combat free radicals and a UVA/UVB sunscreen complex. It also contains moisturizing ingredients and ceramides. Each of the eight shades will be priced at $5.95.
Maybelline’s big news in color is Natural Accents eye and cheek tones. According to company executives, the collection was inspired by professional makeup lines such as MAC and Bobbi Brown, which have recently mushroomed into a sizable portion of the prestige cosmetics industry.
“Through intensive research, we have selected the shades that a younger woman is looking for,” Wills said. “They are looking for a wider rage of neutral shades that provide translucent and natural-looking color.”
The Natural Accents collection is packaged in black pots with clear, plastic tops, like those used by professional makeup artists. They will be uncarded and purity-sealed.
Each of the 15 new eye shadows will be $3.50. The 10 blushes will have a suggested retail price of $4.50 per pot.
Maybelline’s existing shadows and blushes will remain in their traditional compacts. Another prestige trend the company has adapted for the mass market is kohl eyeliners, which create a smokier, smudgier line than traditional liner pencils. Maybelline will offer six different Smoked Kohl Eyeliners at $4.95 each.
The company is refreshing its lipstick business with enriched formulas and updated shades and packaging. Long Wearing lipstick now contains vitamin E and SPF 8, while Moisture Whip has SPF 8 and aloe. There are 24 new shades across both lines in more neutral hues, richer berries and browns, for a total of 60. “We had an excess of pinks in both lines before,” said Rick Goldberg, director of marketing, “and that is not where the market is trending. The formulas are also much more moisturizing than before.”
Maybelline has uncarded all its lip colors and packaged them with a new Pure View Cap System that enables consumers to see a shade without sampling it. An inner clear plastic cap is sealed over the lip color; then, the lipstick is capped again with a removable cover.
All Maybelline lipsticks are $4.70 a tube.
Maybelline’s new and refreshed products will be housed in the new Vista 1-2-3 unit, which will be the same size as Maybelline’s existing wall installation — roughly 16 to 18 feet long. As the name implies, the display divides Maybelline products into three sections — color cosmetics, foundations and mascara and accessories.
As part of its new presentation, Maybelline has uncarded most of its products so almost twice as much merchandise fits in the same space, executives said.
It has also renumbered and renamed its foundation shades to be consistent across all seven of its formulas. The company’s four shades of powders and concealers will be organized within the same system.
There will be color-coded signs to indicate each brand’s key benefits and the skin types it targets.
Other new features on the display include lipstick bullets and foundation shade chips that hang next to a newly installed mirror. A consumer can hold the translucent shaded chip to her face to see how a foundation shade will look on her skin.
“We have tried to design a straightforward shopping system that lays everything out in a simple and organized way,” Hiatt said. “In this way, we hope our wall is more inviting to the consumer. We are also hoping that consumers will now be less confused when they shop in mass environments without the guidance of a beauty adviser.”