Brianne Johnson

Estee Lauder brand positioning

Case study for Estee Lauder Brandcenter student project. Not for commercial use.

 
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THE TASK

Forecast the future of a fickle beauty industry to position Estée Lauder for success in 2035.

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

The more personalized makeup and skincare becomes, the less power one “Estée Lauder woman” ideal holds.

OUR SOLUTION

Redeem Estée as the pioneer of personal service.


 
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Prestige beauty company Estée Lauder found success in the hands of its namesake, who in 1946 introduced her luxury makeup and skincare line by swiping it on the cheeks of neighborhood salon regulars—who would one day inspire creation of the brand’s “Estée Lauder woman” ideal. Lauder’s commitment to providing personal service has since become a core of the company brand, but 60 years later, it struggles to communicate its value and to identify which changes in an ever-evolving beauty industry are here to stay.


 
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In-store experiences will still matter.

Digital-borne beauty brands make it easy to skip the store-counter, but a 100%-digital takeover is unlikely: the physicality of makeup and skincare—the artful packaging, testing and touching—is what makes it fun and personal.

 
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predominately white brands will play catch-up.

By 2045, people of color will compose more than half of the United States, but legacy beauty brands have been slow to design for diverse skin tones—opening up the market for women of color-led brands like Fenty Beauty to steal share.

Technologically customized makeup leads the way.

Seventy-five of the top 100 beauty brands today use augmented reality (AR) or live-video apps to allow consumers to “try on” a shade prior to purchase, and advanced on-the-spot customization is increasingly finding its way in store.

 
 

 
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THE FUTURE, AND ITS PROBLEM, IN A NUT SHELL:

The more personalized makeup and skincare becomes, the less power one “Estée Lauder woman” ideal holds.

OUR solution

Redeem Estée Lauder as the pioneer of personal service.

OUR way in

Exploring one’s beauty is an inherently personal experience—and that won’t change by 2035.


 
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PLAN AHEAD

To preempt data security concerns in a DNA-driven future, partner with a leading privacy firm to solidify Estée’s position as the brand beauty consumers trust with all things personal.

 
 

PARTNER UP

Partner with prestige salons and spas to make a home for Estée products and technologies in the few remaining industries where personal service prevails.

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make PACKAGING FEEL personal

Design thumbprint-patterned packaging that reflects Estée’s personalized service and belief in the uniquely personal nature of beauty.

 
 

MAINTAIN PRESTIGE

Preserve prestige through an annual First Class loyalty membership, wherein Estée uses customer profiles to develop products uniquely adjusted for seasonal and other personal, beauty-related changes.

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be present

Increase awareness through pop-up touch-up bars at premiere fitness studios and women’s co-working spaces with pre-existing beauty bars.

 
 

 

ACTIVITIES: future forecasting / category and brand research / competitive and SWOT analyses / social listening

FELLOW BEAUTY QUEENS + KINGS: Alisha Taylor (Creative Brand Manager) / Nick DeLeon (ST) / Bonni Dinerstein (ST)