Innovative Marketing Strategies of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG160
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2002-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Industry : Beauty care / Cosmetics
Countries : UK, Europe, USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Lush is about passion and iconoclasm: passionate for natural products, fresh handmade cosmetics, seductive perfumes, growth and profit - and iconoclastic about everything else."1

- Angus Jenkinson, Professor of Integrated Marketing, and Branko Sain, Research Fellow in Integrated Marketing, Luton Business School,2 in 2003.

"We're far more challenged by our customers than we ever are by our competitors."3

- Mark Constantine, Managing Director and Co-founder, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, in 2005.

"Walk around its (Lush's) remarkable stores that reject every instruction of scientific retailing and create instead a warm, messy space that screams differentiation."4

- Mark Ritson, Associate Professor of Marketing, Melbourne Business School,5 in 2005.

You're not Supposed to Eat it!

In 2005, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics (Lush), a UK-based producer and marketer of ethical beauty products with over 400 stores worldwide, won the number one slot for 'fun' in the 2005 Sunday Times 100 Best Companies survey. It was reported that its employees loved to work for the company and their enthusiasm translated into an addictive in-store experience for customers in its stores. In fact, every aspect of the Lush brand signified fun - the products, packaging, promotions, etc.

Lush was established in 1995 by Mark Constantine (Constantine) along with his wife Mo Constantine (Mo) and colleague Helen Ambrosen.

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The company had a flat management structure with the directors, including Constantine himself, actively involved in the operations of the firm right from new product development to personally training the employees.

The company also did not have a traditional marketing department and the marketing effort was headed by Sarah McCartney.6

The hallmark of the brand was its passion for fresh and natural homemade products. It made products from natural ingredients (including fruits and vegetables), even ones that were rarely used in cosmetics.

The colors, shapes, sizes, and aromas of the products were such that anyone could mistake them for an edible item. Even the names of the product were unconventional such as 'Buffy the Backside Slayer' skin conditioner, 'Demon in the Dark' soap, etc...

Innovative Marketing Strategies of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics - Next Page>>

1] Angus Jenkinson, Branko Sain, "Lush, the Scent of Success,", April 1, 2003.

2] Luton Business School (now renamed as the University of Berfordshire Business School is based in Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.

3] Lucas Conley, "How Lush Cleans Up,", July 2005.

4] "Mark Ritson on Branding: Lush Searches for Meaning beyond Marketing,", February 2, 2005.

5] The Melbourne Business School, based in Melbourne, Australia, is a leading business school in Australia. (Source:

6] Sarah McCartney was a freelance reporter and a media researcher for advertising agencies and The Guardian. She started working with Lush in 1995. She works from home. (Source: Pamela Townsend, "The Firm - Lush," The Evening Standard (London), May 8, 2001.)

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