With robust marketing plans in the pipeline, L’Oreal Group has launched ‘Kiehl’s’, its New York based cosmetic brand, in India, with the first store being inaugurated in New Delhi recently.
Speaking exclusively to exchange4media, Dinesh Dayal, Director and COO, L’Oreal India, divulged that the company’s digital budget would be separate from its main marketing budget and shared why the brand was looking at reaching out to its target audience through the digital medium specifically.
When asked whether the brand’s entry into the Indian market was a bit late since it already had presence in 38 countries, Dayal replied, “Over the past five years, consumers in India have become extremely discerning and are extremely conscious about their appearance. Grooming standards in the big Indian cities are now comparable to those in far more developed countries. Consumers are well travelled and some even make trips abroad just to pick up their favourite products. Also, for a company like us to be successful, it is necessary to have a good mix of our brands competing in the space. All these reasons led us to the decision that now was the right time to launch.”
Speaking on the target audience, Dayal said, “At Kiehl’s, we have something for everyone. While our focus is facial skincare, we also do have a hair care range, body care range, men’s range and baby range. Our prices range from Rs 495 to Rs 3,800.”
Further, stressing on the importance of digital media for a brand like theirs, Dayal said, “As a company, we are focusing on digital media. It is extremely cost effective and can be targeted at the right audience. Also, the opportunity to customise and make online applications interactive is something we at Kiehl’s think is very appropriate for the brand.”
“Having said this, our main aim, no matter what media we use, is to direct customers to the store to experience our service and products before they purchase,” he added.
With digital media on top of the priority list, Kiehl’s has an official reasoning behind not choosing the traditional medium of communication. Dayal informed, “As a policy, Kiehl’s does not advertise. We use sampling, public relations and charity partnerships to create awareness. Also, our service and store ambience is what makes us memorable and unique. Around the world, Kiehl’s has a great loyal customer base amongst celebrities, achievers and influencers, who endorse our company at no cost, just because they love our products!”
Meanwhile, the company has already got busy in shaping up its online presence in India. “In terms of digital media, we are developing our own microsite for India and will also have a Facebook fan page to keep our customers and well-wishers updated about new launches, the company history, promotions and events. We have kept aside the budget for digital spends,” he added, but refused to divulge any figures.
After launching its first flagship store in Delhi, Kiehl’s plans to launch a store in Mumbai and another one in Delhi next year.
On the social responsibility front, the brand has over the years lent support to three key causes – AIDS research and prevention, children’s well-being, and the environment. Kiehl’s in India, in its year of launch, will support the cause of protecting the girl child and of growing more trees. Together with its charity partner, The Nanhi Chhaan Foundation, Kiehl’s will buy and distribute 9,000 saplings in New Delhi.