Maybelline Case Study

In 1915 T.L. Williams created the MAYBELLINE COMPANY, a family-owned business. Thecompany was named after his sister Maybel, from whom he originally received the idea of producing and selling an easy-to-use product to darken eyelashes.

Two years later, MAYBELLINE launched its very first product, Maybelline Cake Mascara, the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use. Advertised and sold exclusively by mail, the mascara was such a big success among the general public that women started to ask for it in drugstores.

Great Lash was launched in 1971. Today, one is sold every 1.2 seconds! In the 1970’s – 1980’s: MAYBELLINE branched into face, lip and nail products. “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s MAYBELLINE”. The advertising tagline was created in 1991. Still a great success for the brand today, this tagline continues to be recognized around the world. L’Oréal acquired MAYBELLINE in 1996 and the company headquarters moved to New York City. This new partnership empowered MAYBELLINE to create the newest, most innovative products with top research and development teams and resources. MAYBELLINE is established as a color authority and technologically advanced products become a company priority. In 2004 MAYBELLINE officially becomes MAYBELLINE NEW YORK, incorporating elements such as the size, style, color and success that give the city its cool, captivating flavor. This new attitude and look combines state-of-the art technology and a keen eye on trends to produce accessible, cutting-edge cosmetics with a cool, urban edge.

MAYBELLINE NEW YORK is the number one cosmetics brand globally, is available in more than 100 countries worldwide and every major mass-market retailer including drugstores, discount stores, supermarkets and cosmetics specialty stores.

MAYBELLINE in 3 words:

– Accessibility

– Innovation

– New York

BRAND MISSION: MAYBELLINE’s brand purpose is to give women unique, American type confidence to achieve their personal best…

After almost 100 years of success, the worldwide leader in the make-up market is looking for new opportunities. Why not fragrance? This market is divided into 2 competitive distribution channels: the mass and the selective channels. The challenge is great… Be creative and imagine MAYBELLINE’s first perfume!


Analyze the current offering of male and female perfumes that are sold in the selective and mass distribution channels.

→ Define the market

Current market situation and evolution; the fundamental characteristics which define the global and local markets; growth opportunities and threats; distribution characteristics.

→ Identify the competition

Who are the main competitors across the different distribution channels; define their positioning and target.

→ Understand the consumer, identify the trends

Who are the consumers that buy their perfumes in mass distribution/selective distribution; who buys what; what are their usage habits (frequency, preferences, rituals); what are their expectations; what is their attitude towards fragrances; are they satisfied with the current offer?

Are there any new consumer trends? Define the main trends among this consumer.


Analyze the status of MAYBELLINE and any other 2 brands of your choice (from mass or selective distribution channels).

Based on what you have just found out, do a SWOT Analysis of the MAYBELLINE brand when it comes to perfumes for this target group. Where would be the opportunities for MAYBELLINE by analyzing:

→ Business performance

→ Products (packaging design, range composition)

→ Market share

→ Positioning and image

→ The mix (price, promotions, etc.)

→ Consumers

→ Communication strategy focused on public awareness

Base your analysis on your local market but bear in mind the international positioning of the brand.

As we say at L’Oréal: “think local, act global!”

Pre-case Option: What kind of product would you launch as the MAYBELLINE first fragrance?

(female/male/dual)? What would be your target? Present briefly your product.

Now that you have carried out your complete analysis, the case to conquer is the following:

“Imagine MAYBELLINE first perfume.

  1. What would be MAYBELLINE’s legitimacy in the perfume category?
  2. Imagine a new perfume (or perfume range) and define its positioning within the existing

MAYBELLINE brand portfolio, its brand positioning statement and reason why.

  1. Develop and implement a mid-term international marketing strategy (2 years) for MAYBELLINE perfume. Define the competitive approach for the brand and focus on creating a strong identity, along with a new communication campaign. What type of media and on-the field communication strategy would best attract this consumer to your brand?

Your strategy must consider the following:

→ Your mission is to imagine the product, which means the packaging, the olfactive style, the communication campaign etc, but not to produce the fragrance of the perfume

→ You have to imagine at least one product (you can develop a range if you want)

→ When choosing your advertising and promotion plan take into consideration alternative media channels along with the more traditional ones. You have no media budgets & profitability constraints.

→ Remember to respect the core brands values. Bear in mind MAYBELLINE’s distribution channel.

→ MAYBELLINE is an international brand: if your strategy is based on your local market, ensure it can be implemented internationally.

(For countries not playing the pre-case, integrate the pre-case analysis into the case study and disregard the Pre-case Option).

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