Gama spoke to Margarida Condado, Marketing Director, L’Oréal Portugal
What are your day to day activities as Marketing Director?
As Marketing Director I have responsibility for defining and implementing our brand strategy and marketing mix in the Portuguese market, in accordance with our international positioning. I also actively participate in the management committee of the Consumer Product Division at L’Oréal.
As L’Oréal is the leader in beauty and innovation, my activities are focused on maximizing both new launches and core products in order to achieve sustained growth and manage our portfolio. Consumer products is a very dynamic market and we need to track our performance versus our competition on a daily basis. It is a neverending but exciting game.
We also track consumer trends with the aim of bringing our customers products which are more relevant and useful to them each day. We develop deep knowledge of our consumers and our local clients to uncover new insights and new business opportunities.
The great thing about marketing is how you have to mobilize all the other departments (commercial, logistics, PR, trade, finance etc.) in to support the brand strategy at a 360º level and guarantee good P&L management.
Finally, and most importantly, is developing and managing people – people are what truly fuel success.
What key trends do you expect to shape health & beauty innovation in 2014?
In the beauty market, as in other industries, innovation has been solving problems for many years but this is now more the case than ever. Beyond what nature offered each of us, we can now enjoy thicker hair, greater lashes or a more even complexion, for instance.
Consumers are looking for solutions that have not only been designed for their age or profile but also their style and values. They are also looking for products that can be easily applied at home and they follow recommendations online.
How are the dynamics shifting in the mass and premium health & beauty markets (for instance in cosmetics and fragrances)? Are consumers “trading up” or “trading down”?
We don’t have enough data to be definitive, but from what we do have we believe that in Portugal consumers are trading down in a number of cases, especially in make up and skin care. At the same time the offerings and advice available through mass channels are becoming more attractive and that is helping that trading down to happen.
Is the “natural” trend likely to continue in health & beauty? How should companies respond?
There are different types of consumer: some looking for more natural formulations and others for more technological or chemical ingredients. A lot of the natural trends come over from Asia, for example products such as masks and oils. Companies need to keep an eye out for major trends and adapt their brand positioning accordingly, as well as adjusting to local needs. It is also true that some consumers tend to mix brands and products type – it can happen that the same consumer is really keen on both natural and more technological products.
Which categories or consumer groups currently offer the greatest growth opportunities for health & beauty companies?
Colour cosmetics still offers a path to growth. Seniors and men are also groups that should grow in the coming years.
From a marketing perspective, how is the way health & beauty companies are looking to reach and engage with consumers changing? How can a brand successfully resonate with consumers?
I believe health & beauty companies are already trying to reach and engage consumers. However, they need to turn towards the consumer and become more consumer-centric, focusing on making each individual special and unique. Today we still tend to be very brand oriented.