Having established itself firmly in the metro markets, French personal care brand L’Oréal Paris sees a huge growth potential in the non-metros of India. The brand believes rapid digitisation will help it reach small cities through e-retailing.
Raagjeet Garg, General Manager, L’Oréal Paris, said the consumers in the non-metros are much more demanding and eager because the level of awareness around the latest trends in the sphere has increased due to the advent of digital.
“I was looking at the analysis done by the team internally, which shows that cities like Kanpur, Lucknow and Indore are the cities that are really driving growth. Going forward, these cities will be more strategic and important for the brand’s growth in terms of business,” Garg said.
Although the brand’s stronger market remains the metros as of now, the brand sees a very balanced share of turnover across the country. Garg said, “As of now, metros is where our presence is strong, but in the last one or two years, we have gained significantly from the non-metros as well.”
The Indian market is very important for the brand because of the nation’s huge population. “India is a very strategic market for the brand. The brand is looking at gaining billions of consumers and India is an attractive market. A lot of initiatives today are planned specifically for India. It automatically shows the strategic importance it gives to India,” said Garg.
L’Oréal Paris advertises both through traditional and new-age media. The brand has been aggressively spending on advertising and marketing in India. Garg said, “Over the last few years, we have upped the ante across categories in terms of media investments and promotion strategies and it is exponentially related to the revenue we generate year on year.”
Recently, the beauty segment has been seeing a lot of new entrants in the e-commerce and offline space as well. Would this impact the brand’s market share?
Garg answered, “There are already a lot of players in the market today. Suddenly the entry of one or more players doesn’t change the way the environment. The point is that as a brand you need to be true for what you stand for and then leave it to the consumers to decide what he or she really wants. That’s the right way to look at all the competition.”
This year, L’Oréal Paris completed its 21 years of association with the Cannes Film Festival as the event’s official makeup partner. This year’s theme for the brand in Cannes is #SummerEscape. The Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 8-18, 2018.
Commenting on their association with Cannes for more than 21 years, Garg said, “L’Oreal has been associated with the brand for the last 21 years and our association has only built up with every passing year. Cannes is the best platform to showcase makeup and new trends worldwide. When it comes to India, it is the perfect opportunity to send our ambassador to Cannes and create content which is not just engaging but which can also educate the consumers about different trends and other things that they can look up to and try out in the coming year. L’Oréal Paris has become synonymous with Cannes and that is the beauty of any association that has been built over two decades.”
Generally brands have one ambassador for various brand-related activities and at times get on board brand endorsers and influencers. Exceptionally, L’Oréal Paris has three brand ambassadors: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone. Even though having brand ambassadors on board is a costly affair, L’Oréal Paris opted for three ambassadors.
Justifying the investment, Garg said, “You might like Indian food, someone might like Italian food and someone might like Chinese food. At the end of it, every individual is different. It is important to have the right ambassador who embodies the value of the brand in the most beautiful way. For us, all our three ambassadors appeal to a very different audience. The idea is to put everything together and talk to varied consumers existing in India.”