Kantar's Profiles Blog

Facebook Face-off: Cosmetics

Posted by Edward Staples on Dec 15, 2014

Multicultural consumers are of increasing importance in market research as they represent the fastest growing segment of buyers. Most of today’s market researchers understand the importance of multicultural research, but many of us struggle with the question of how and when to apply it. Evidence of that is research from The Center for Multicultural Science which estimates that, “Most syndicated research under-represents the size of Hispanic sales by ~20-60%.” To offer examples of how you can realize the value of multicultural research, we took a look at brand fans of two cosmetics industry leaders, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal.

Can you think of an industry that market research compliments more than the cosmetics industry? Think about it – cosmetics are a way for a woman to project her inner-self to the world. Engaging with a market research partner such as Lightspeed GMI is a way for a company to understand their consumer’s inner-self. Hand in glove, right? For this exercise, the lens we used to view brand fans of Estee Lauder and L’Oreal is Context. Context is Lightspeed GMI’s proprietary social media intelligence solution that enables our clients to better understand the tastes and preferences of consumers by combining single sourced social and attitudinal data. We ran a Context Mindshare report on brand fans of Estée Lauder and brand fans of L’Oreal. Mindshare looks at our panelists’ Facebook Likes distribution across 33 categories of interest (e.g., Music, Sports/Athletes, Government, Babies/Children, etc.) and measures their relative strength of interest in each category. For instance, consumers who say they like Brand X have a strong interest in Movies and Music, whereas people who like Brand Y have a strong interest in Sports and Athletes.


I Can’t Believe She Wore That Dress

At first blush (pun intended) we didn’t observe statistically relevant differences between Estée Lauder brand fans and L’Oreal brand fans. When Miss Estée Fan walks into a party, there’s a good chance Miss L’Oreal Fan is wearing the same outfit! Put more practically, each group of brand fans share the same top 10 strongest interests and the same bottom 10. Fans of each brand ‘like’ a lot of Facebook pages about products, food and beverages, music, apps and software, and actors/entertainers. Brand fans liked very few pages about babies/children/family, government/politics, pets and animals, and automobiles. Fans of each brand had close to a 1:1 strength of interest in most categories, the exception being Children/Families (11% stronger for Estée Lauder brand fans), and this category was bottom of mind out of all 33 categories for both brands’ fans. As a market researcher for either company, you’re facing a reach challenge – what’s a good angle for us to capture new share? What’s a good angle to capture our competitor’s share?


No Somos Los Mismos

When you look at the US-based Hispanic brand fan of each company, you start to see some interesting – and valuable – differences. For example, gen pop Estée fans have a slightly stronger interest in Education than L’Oreal fans, +7%. Hispanic Estée Lauder fans index a significant 23% higher in their strength of interest in education compared to their gen pop counterparts. Hispanic L’Oreal fans index a whopping 44% higher than their gen pop counterparts – nearly double the strength of Hispanic Estée Lauder fans! Similarly, gen pop brand fans of each company have a nearly identical strength of interest in News/Media related Facebook pages. Hispanic Estée Lauder fans however have a 10% higher strength of interest in News/Media related pages. Hispanic L’Oreal fans index even higher, with 18% higher strength of interest!

What does this mean if you’re a marketer at either company? Regarding Education, you might look at the University of Phoenix, LSU and Harvard – three of the schools with the most likes – and see how they’re messaging to their audience. Or think about what kind of on-campus marketing you were doing. You’d take note that the top fields of study in this group are Music, Movies, Dancing and Art. If I were Estée Lauder, I’d see Education as a path to capturing share from L’Oreal. If I were L’Oreal, I’d try to keep that from happening! Regarding News/Media, you’d certainly make sure your ads were placed accordingly. You’d give Pandora and iHeartRadio, two of the top ranked pages in this category, a good hard look. You’d also look at Fox News and CNN. You’d start thinking Nancy Grace, Marcelo Tas, Meri Waddi, Marco Travaglio and other journalists with a high number of Facebook fans. You’d also avoid showing food and beverages in your ads – Hispanic brand fans of Estée Lauder and L’Oreal have a 15% and 21% lower interest in Food/Beverages than their gen pop counterparts!

Today’s smart market researcher can help their company accelerate growth when they pay attention to America’s fastest growing demographic. For more information about Context or other Lightspeed GMI tools, please drop me a line.




Topics: Context, Social Media

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