Diversity and Marketing When diversity creates value
Analyzing world trends and perspectives are of the utmost importance for a cosmetics giant like L’Oréal, and there are a few key socio-demographic realities, which must not be underestimated:
Demographic shifts are accelerating
Nations with mature economies are experiencing an aging population. The number of people 65 and older is projected to triple by 2050. The majority of people in Japan, South Korea and Germany are expected to older than 50. By 2050, roughly 40% of Japanese will be over the age of 65.
Amongst fast growing economies like Brazil, nearly 51 % of the population is now mixed or black. In the United States, Hispanics and Afro-Americans are expected to be the majority by 2040. Africa’s population is set to double to 2.1 billion by 2050.
15 % of the world population has some sort of disability, which when put into perspective, represents the equivalent of China.
For sustained growth these type of demographic shifts make it such that it is essential to reach out to these diverse populations.
The inclusion of all consumers is part of L’Oréal’s mission: “L’Oréal, offering beauty for all”.
Having a diversity lens in marketing is one way to participate with the brands goals to identify prospective growth levers within their respective target group. Using various methods, such as building consumer knowledge, tracking brand digital reputation amongst consumers (multi cultural or with disabilities), sharing of best practices between different countries, dialoguing with marketing teams, changing perceptions, are just some of the ways we are proactively contributing to goal for new consumer growth.
In today’s growingly diverse populations, brands need to embrace all consumers.
To this extent, the concept of inclusive marketing, or total market approach, which seeks to reach all consumers of a brand, is now a prerequisite for sustainable growth. This could be either through product development, both on line and off line advertising, and consumer events. Using new ways to interact with our consumers, especially thanks to digital, helps us to better understand and respond to their needs and importantly create a closer and sincere relationship with them.
In America the Baby Boomers have come of age
In the US, the number of people aged 85 and over, is projected to grow to 8.9 million in 2030. Baby boomers are the first generation of “high potential” seniors. In 2013, the beauty market for women over 50 in the United States was estimated at 15 billion dollars. This age category is a real growth lever, especially in mature markets.
For brands it is important to understand the nuances within this diverse group we call “Seniors or the Silver Economy”. A woman over 75 doesn’t have the same beauty needs as a newly retired woman of 60. It’s even more different for women over 80 and could depend also largely on what part of the world she lives in.
A real effort has been made to gain a better understanding of these to specifically target their expectations and needs in beauty. One example is an internal taskforce comprised of experts from the European Zone consumer Insight managers, R&D, Marketing and Diversity to better understand and promote the “New Elders “within the L’Oréal.
Reinforcing links with diverse consumers
We support the brands, in their quest to strengthen relationships with customers with diverse backgrounds, by organizing specific consumer actions targeted to them.
Whether addressing the needs of the people with hearing disabilities, (L’Oréal is the first cosmetic company in France to include Closed Captioning for all advertising on TV and digital), or by being the partner brand of the 1st and 2nd editions of the Black Fashion Week (Mizani and Maybelline were the official make up and hair stylists) held in Paris. Or by creating Spanish language print advertising in the USA.
The brand, La Roche Posay, meanwhile, is working this same goal from different angles: by including Braille on the outer cartons of it’s packaging or by helping single parent mothers in difficult situations thanks to a partnership with the “K d’Urgences Fondation» in France.
In Brazil there’s an estimated 15 million people living with a disability . According to the Brazilian Minister of Education (MEC) , approximately 5 million are deaf or have a severe hearing problem and 4 million are blind or visually impaired. Giving this context, the CMO of L’Oréal Brazil and Diversity worked together to come up with a unique digital approach to include all kinds of consumers.
Their consumer service digital platform, “Voz de Beleza”, incorporates accessibility tools such as sign language translation, compatibility for screen readers, different font sizes as well as contrast and line break text. This last tool enables consumers to enlarge fonts without having to scroll the bar to read. In the last month, the website surpassed 500 sign language translations.
Accessibility and digital are a main concern for L’Oréal Brazil and they have put accessibility standards for their subsidiaries agenda for 2016.
In L’Oréal Brazil, their motto is “Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is an action! Let’s act!”
Since 2012, the Diversity and Marketing team created in collaboration with a blogger an internal newsletter “Beauty in Diversity” that is distributed to different departments within L’Oréal. The newsletter highlights the many different ways brands, both L’Oréal and competitors, are valorizing diverse beauties throughout the world.