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L’Oréal forms Multi-Cultural Beauty division

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NEW YORK — L’Oréal USA has formed the Multi-Cultural Beauty division to encompass Dark & Lovely, Optimum Salon Haircare, SoftSheen-Carson Professional, Magic Shave and newly acquired Carol’s Daughter.

The goal of the MCB division is to fulfill the needs of the underserved multicultural beauty consumer.

“Multicultural consumers are very passionate about beauty products, yet when we ask about satisfaction with the current offering of beauty products in the marketplace, we are seeing a significantly higher level of dissatisfaction compared to the general market — and this is true for every single one of the traditional beauty categories,” says MCB general manager Nicole Fourgoux. “The multicultural market needs a champion in the beauty category, and we created this division to innovate and market products specifically for the varied multicultural marketplace.”

MCB’s mission is to “serve underserved beauty wants and anticipate new and emerging beauty needs of multicultural consumers,” she adds.

The division is looking at potent cultural ingredients and the diversity of beauty rituals to offer products that deliver on performance expectations with meaningful quality.

With MCB’s brand portfolio, it is “perfectly positioned to serve and inspire women and men of all cultures and ethnicities to celebrate their individual beauty,” says Fourgoux.

Digital and mobile technologies will continue to be key influencers and purchase drivers for multicultural consumers, she adds. “We know that multicultural consumers over-index on almost all digital and social media platforms, and that she is most receptive to and responsive to online ads. The projected growth of the digital and mobile usage of multicultural consumers is five times faster than the total market. Brands like Carol’s Daughter and Dark & Lovely Au Naturale have been built on digital models with strong presence on YouTube and other social platforms.”

Kline & Co. reported that the multicultural beauty products market last year continued to outpace the growth of the overall cosmetics and toiletries market, posting a 3.7% increase. To gain share of the ethnic consumer’s pocketbook, suppliers need to understand myriad new market undertones, the company said.

Rapidly growing ethnic populations have intensified competition and led marketers to break boundaries between general and multicultural beauty, Kline reported. Brands such as Carol’s Daughter were being positioned away from being an exclusively ethnic brand to also target a broader audience.

“This widening approach helps move multicultural brands beyond the ethnic section of the beauty aisle to sit side by side” with general market brands, commented Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “However, this audience expansion needs to be done without alienating longtime consumers who might feel deserted if they feel that their brand no longer speaks exclusively to them.”


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