Plenitude a product by L’Oreal was incepted into the United States market during the year 1988. Since its introduction, the company managed to dominate the United States market for 8 years before facing stiff competition and consequently submitting to Pond’s, a different product by another company. Before the company launched its product in the United States market, it made the assumption that Plenitude would be a success just like in the French market. One of the main reasons as to why the product was not a success was because it was a widely held notion that its target market was women of 40 years and above.
From the case study, it can be clearly depicted that the product did not have market appeal that was vital for the ‘class of mass’ concept strategy to follow through. Clearly, the company realized that the United States market was uptight and that the consumer behavior was entirely distinct and dynamic from that of France. The company sought to try out the ‘class of mass’ marketing strategy within the United States market so as to target and capture a certain niche of customers. Some of the aspects that were encompassed in this strategy included products that were of high technology, excessive and extensive advertisement; the company channeled and focused its support and resources of the star product (Plenitude).
The Implementation strategy within the United States was not much of a success as compared to that of France mainly because of the fact that the company displayed and disseminated all company products at the same time. Although this was a marketing strategy, it did not give customers ample time to learn and adjust to L’Oreal products as it did in France. The packaging methodology can be attributed as another factor as to why the product failed. Being a beauty product, it becomes sensitive and for this reason, customers had to have an idea of what they were purchasing. Too many words being written on the boxes discouraged them from reading.
The company could have had the following in place for the product to be a success in the United States market; by featuring a star product such as Plenitude and not releasing it together with other products, provide sufficient evidence to their customers on technological superiority and also image the product to represent an executive woman as their target market. The main reason as to why there was the ‘older woman perception’ was the company’s promotional line that read ‘reduces the signs of aging’, its origin (France) together with th featuring of a technological superior product were among the root causes of the failure of Plenitude in the United States market.
When carrying out the market research to determine the success and consumer reception and perception of the product it was discovered that L’Oreal was a brand name. This basically means that the product sold due goodwill and positive attitude that it received from its users. A good number of consumers acknowledged the fact that they buy and use this products because of the brand name and its long standing history with the production of quality and top-notch products. In addition, most people were not conversant of the product’s name as Plenitude but as one of the company’s cosmetic lines.
Each and every product in the market has critics. For those who did not like the product sighted reasons inclusive of the fact that it was oily and greasy on their faces. Due to the number of L’Oreal products in the market, the line was equated and likened to that of departmental stores and that the company offers a lot. The fact that the company does not have a product line means that their products have been carefully chosen and ready for the market. To others, having an array of products made it hard for them to read each successive product before purchasing an thus, moved to the next available but similar product by different companies.
Basing on the above, there is need for the company to come up with comprehensive mechanisms to decide whether to go on with the product sale in the United States market, what are the stakes and the way forward. The company had the following objectives before launching into the United States market; Improving the top line of the products, improve the bottom line products as well but in a drastic manner, make United States one of the significant contributors of the Plenitude brand and lastly, come up with products with United States as target customers but at the same time, logical to the company’s technological portfolio.
With not much success as expected, the company then needs to come up with a way forward. To begin with, the issues raised during the market research ought to be adequately and substantially tackled. Credit has to be given with the company’s first step in executing an in-depth and more detailed account on Plenitude’s market and its positioning. The perception that the product is mainly meant for older women and the cost relate issues associated with it, there is need for the company to think of a way to change its image and consequent perception so as to attain a wider range of segments and achieve the ‘class to mass strategy’.