Business Head | 14 Oct 2003
Below the line initiatives are extremely important in the cosmetic segment since the buying experience is as important as brand image and advertising. Significant focus is on sales counters, beauty advisors and dealer aids. We constantly integrate a lot of the above the line campaigns like 'Whose watching your lips' with below the line initiatives
At a time when the Indian beauty industry was at a nascent stage, Anil Chopra, Business Head, Lakme Lever, who has been associated with the Cosmetics and Toiletries Industry for 10 years, turned around the image of Lakme from a beauty brand to a leading cosmetics and skincare brand.
Anil has been instrumental in taking the brand to global standards after mapping International fashion and beauty trends with Intercos Italia, a Euro cosmetic technology house, and combining it with an understanding of the Indian woman. Additionally, the culmination of Lakme's expert service initiatives across 44 Lakme Beauty Salons is due to his vision of offering a complete beauty solution to consumers.
In this session of Brand Speak, Anil Chopra speaks to Jasmeen Dugal about the brand’s communication strategy, the concept of launching a new range with every fashion week and maintenance advertising during the lean period.
Q. Tell us about your marketing and communications strategy. Are you aggressively using advertising, PR and events to reach out to the consumer?
We use a fair degree of all the communication vehicles across the board be it print, television or radio, along with fashion events like Lakme India Fashion Week where the communication strategy is quite aggressive. PR plays a major role in conveying to the consumers about our initiatives and new offerings.
Q. What is the extent of your marketing activity? Do you rely heavily on below-the-line support? Tell us about some of your BTL campaigns.
Below the line is extremely important in the cosmetic segment since the buying experience is as important as brand image and advertising. Significant focus is on the sales counters, beauty advisors, and dealer aids such as shade cards etc. We constantly integrate a lot of the above the line campaigns like the 'Whose watching your lips' with below the line initiatives.
Q. With Maybelline and Revlon targeting the same audience, what is your key differentiator?
Our key differentiator is that we provide the best of Unilever technology on skincare range and our partnership with Milan-based Intercos Italia, the leading creator of new cosmetics technology and fashion trendsetter for global beauty brands. This enables Lakme to combine the best available International cosmetics technology with an in-depth understanding of the Indian woman's needs to create relevant and innovative beauty products and services. This is truly, the 'best of both worlds'.
Q. Has the Fashion Week association made Lakme look a little more International and contemporary?
We at Lakme have always believed that beauty and fashion are closely interlinked and our involvement in bringing the world's largest fashion concept to India – Lakme India Fashion Week, is a testimony to that.
The Lakme India Fashion Week has served as a platform for Lakme to unveil its fashion statements, which serve as a reference point for the fashion and beauty industry. To give expression to the fashion statements Lakme each year brings out a new product line of radiant textures, which demand glamour, expressed in lustrous shades of the season.
Q. What is the concept behind launching a new range with every fashion week?
Trends change along with the season (such as summer and winter) hence the beauty products and services are tailor-made to each season. Each concept introduced by Lakme such as the ‘Think Brilliance Think Lakme’, ‘WaterColors’ and ‘Treasures’ is an expression of times and the mindset.
Q. How has the association with the fashion week helped in building brand image and boosting sales?
Yes, with Lakme's association with the Lakme India Fashion Week, our image parameters have moved up on the dimensions of 'contemporary' and 'modern'.
Q. The cosmetics/ skin care business witnesses a demand surge during festivals or marriage season. During the rest of the time, what is your view on advertising? How do you utilize advertising during lean periods?
Launches of new product ranges and collections typically coincide with festive seasons hence advertising is greater at those times. We only do maintenance advertising during the lean period.
Q. Tell us something about your latest ad campaign.
Our latest campaign is focused on the recently launched fashion statement for winter 2003 – ‘Treasures.’
Q. What are the promotions you are currently looking at to highlight the brand?
With the launch of the two fashion statements this year, we are creating a strong linkage between fashion and beauty with Lakme as the leading expert beauty brand.