Term Paper: Estee Lauder Inc. New Promotional

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[. . .] This is very important as no personal product can be thought of without the packaging. Would you like to buy your shampoo, or hair dressing gel, or cream, or shaving lotion in a flat square volume efficient bottle? No one does, for every one would like to think that they are special, at least in themselves. So, they develop reasons why they like certain products, and don't like certain others. One-way of testing out a product is throwing it at the deep end into the market and see whether it survives or not.

Most products do not really have a USP, or a unique selling proposition. They really have not been designed to meet customers' expressed or felt needs, but, are just an attempt by some manufacturer to increase his market share by adding another brand name to has stable so that his company's overall market share increases. If it is a large enough market, and you put out a certain amount of publicity, some will survive. Why? It may have something to do with the product's shape. Psychologists will often tell you that this product's shape is a certain symbol in the mind of people and that is why the people are buying it. Even the product managers will use this gimmick at internal presentations to get money out of the top management. But, really not more than 10% or 15% really succeed. They also succeed more by chance than design. The seniors know this and they launch as many products as they can afford to, and hope that some will succeed. Sometimes, some products hit the jackpot, and everybody is happy. At other times some poor soul's plans fall flat over a length of time, and he is discarded.

Keeping all this in view, the first suggestion I would make is that the promotion policies of the brands, which have been reflected in the studies, not be touched at all. Let them be promoted as they are being promoted. We can think only in terms of geographical expansion. Let the products be tried out in new areas. It may be useful to do a user profile study. That will tell us a little more about the people who are using the products. Does the user have certain specific characteristics? Are they white or Afro Americans? Are they old or young? What income group uses each product the maximum?

This sort of study should be done for each and every product. Once we have the user profile, then we may think of targeting the appropriate group with advertising and promotion to suit that group. In that manner, our money will be the least spent, and market shares will not be adversely affected. This may be called a defensive strategy. For new products, the objective should be to get as many trials as possible. To get this you must build up as much awareness as possible in the shortest possible time. If the product picks up fine, then continue promoting it. If it does not pick up, then just meet the demand till the product dies a natural death. In cigarette companies, as also the other companies mentioned above only some survive. Do not insist on carrying the dead. They only add to the weight to be carried, and finally they stink.

To promote these products, use private media. No woman will use a perfume knowing that another woman is using it. But, she will insist on showing it off. Remember that in the good old days people used to carry their cigarette packets in their hands. However, if she sees some good looking, or rich woman is using the perfume, she may be tempted to try it. So, depending on the consumer price, promote the product in a higher market class image. As models use, stars as much as possible. Use media that is private and not public. It can be direct mail, or in store promotions. In store promotions should be a sample offer coupled with a purchase offer. This means that if a customer decides to buy the product, he or she will get a gift offer of a smaller pack. She can use the smaller pack, but if she does not like it, she can return the bigger pack within a few predefined days, may be a week. Of course, when she comes to the shop she will be given a free spray to enable her to decide whether she wants to buy or not. Once a potential customer has decided to buy your product, she must be hooked for some time. That is the purpose of this promotion.

How do you get the mailing list, which I talked about earlier? Simple, have your salesmen travel around in the market areas and choose suitable shops. These shops should agree to your promoting the product at a later date, for a reasonable fee. And, the shops should look exclusive. What does that mean? It means that it must have something special about it, the salesmen in the shop must be looking smart, the counters must be clean, the products must be well arranged, they must be selling Estee Lauder brands even now. When the promotion is going on he will not promote any other perfume. If the shop is exclusive as I said, he will also have a list of buyers who visit his shop regularly.

This may be taken from his billed debit or credit cards. Then, send these people an invitation to visit the shop during the promotion and meet you. It should be a personal invitation, like an invitation card, not a direct mail. You may offer a cup of coffee if it is within the budget. The person sending the invitation should be a lady in the middle ages, pretty, but not necessarily beautiful. She must belong to the social group the perfume is targeted at. Finally, she must be using Estee Lauder herself. I do not think that anyone not using a product should promote it. It will not ring true. And, what happens if somebody to whom you have promoted the product sees you using a different product at a later date? It will do a tremendous amount of bad publicity. This is a policy used for most personal products.

I would not say that any other media need be used. This is a personal product, and people do not buy personal products on other peoples recommendation. You must use it yourself to be sure that you want to use the product. Otherwise, you will continue using whatever you have been using in the past. None of these products really give you any perceptible benefit, except to your self-confidence and your ego (means self in Latin). So, to sell the product you must pamper the client's ego. You must make her feel that she is something special, and that you have come only to meet her. Selling the product is the dirty job that you do for a living. Even if she does not buy, it is okay. You have come only to meet her and selling the product is only incidental. Remember Estee lauder. She brought the business up by selling. If she could get to sell over 40% of America's perfumes by just selling, why should we not follow her and build on that base.

The promotion is basically sales promotion for the new, not so well doing brands. The advertising is only for brands that are doing well. For those brands, the customer only needs a reminder that the brand still exists. She also needs a reassurance that she is using a top class product. That is why you have to have a high price. If you make a cheap perfume, nobody will buy it. Do you know that most customers will not be able to distinguish their perfume from similar ones in a blind test? That is because the difference is not all that much for an untrained person to find out. Of course a perfumer will find out in a whiff, but not all of us are trained perfumers.


Thus it could be recommended that no major changes be made in the publicity plans of the products that are doing well, which is only a list of 15 brands. For the others, what is required is to follow a personal promotion policy at the store level, with invitation cards, welcome coffee, little free samples and personal selling. It is hoped that if this effort is done continuously for some selected products, and then the company should be able to get recognition and independent market shares. That to me is the only way a 40%+ market share can be expanded in a highly competitive, personal product range.


Gerson, Roselyn; Gerson, Alvin. "The Estee Lauder Solid Perfume Compact Collection 1967-2001"… [END OF PREVIEW]

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