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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You're not Supposed to Eat it! Contd...

The products were heaped up on wooden tables in the form of an old-fashioned delicatessen.7 The products had minimal packaging or no packaging at all. Some products were even shaped like huge cakes and cut and priced on weight. The company did not market its products in the traditional manner but relied on in-store advertising, word-of-mouth advocacy8 and public relations (PR). Lush had developed an evangelical customer base, which included many celebrities. Experts felt that Lush was a cult brand that differentiated itself from other retailers of beauty products due to its innovative products, superior customer service, and unconventional marketing approach.

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However, some analysts felt that the absence of a regular marketing department might prove counterproductive for the company. Some critics also felt that Lush, which had thus far remained an independent, private firm, could jeopardize its chances of staying competitive in the long run if it did not go public. This was because Lush had to compete with many established competitors with a large marketing and financial muscle. The competition in the ethical cosmetics market was also expected to increase in the future.

Background Note

Lush was the brainchild of Constantine (born 1952), who was a hairdresser by training. He developed an interest in makeup at the age of 14, but as there were limited opportunities for male makeup artists during that time, he trained in hairdressing and trichology9 at the Institute of Trichologists.10 After a stint at an Elizabeth Arden hairdressing salon,11 and some free-lance assignments with some of London's premier hair salons, he established a beauty business called Constantine and Weir Plc (C&W) with his friend Elizabeth Weir (Weir) in 1976.12

Constantine and his creative team at C&W started developing a range of bath and body products which they manufactured in a workshop in Poole, Dorset, UK. C&W also started supplying these natural-based cosmetic products to a number of retailers...

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7] Delicatessen is a shop selling ready-to-eat food products.

8] Word-of-mouth advocacy (or WOM marketing or buzz marketing) is a term used by marketers and advertisers to describe activities that companies undertake to generate personal recommendations as well as referrals for brand names, products and services.

9] Trichology is the branch of medicine that deals with the study of the health of the hair and scalp.

10] The Institute of Trichologists is a professional association for trichologists in the world which also provide training in trichology.

11] The Elizabeth Arden salon was part of the cosmetics empire built by Elizabeth Arden, a Canadian businesswomen.

12] Ruth Mortimer, "Lush: Purple and Simple,", June 2006.

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