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L'Oreal of Paris: Bringing "Class to mass" with Plenitude

Ana Paula Terzi-Palombo

1) Describe Plenitude's position in the US market in the early 1996. Why has it apparently been less successful in the US than in France when the French "success" formula was used in the US?

Because L'Oreal had a commitment with the trade that they would keep investing and supporting its brands financially and considering that P&G had a very strong market position in the "masstige" skin care category, long term ROI and profit were forecasted for the following years. It was planned that L'Oreal would gain share and well establish its brand Plenitude.
Despite careful planning, L'Oreal failed to meet profit targets 8 years after the US
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The marketer must conduct a survey with a large sampling of subjects from the target culture, asking pertinent questions involving preferences, social norms, values and lifestyle customs, to determine cultural traits. Had L'Oreal done their research prior to introducing Plenitude in the US, they could have had a better assessment of the marketplace and therefore avoid some mistakes they made when Plenitude was introduced in the US.

2) Based on your understanding of the situation and the market research data, what is L'Oreal's problem?

Overall, L'Oreal failed to realize and correct certain aspects of its line that were not in line with consumers tastes in the US. Some of the main points are stated below:

•Main competitors (Oil of Olay, Pond's and, Nivea) were situated in the HBA aisles of the stores while Plenitude products were merchandised in point of sales in the cosmetics' aisles next to L'Oreal cosmetics where the consumer is looking for cosmetics not skin care. The skin care consumer is in the HBA aisles!
•Too many product types were launched at the same time with little differentiation and too much technology for the consumer to understand and digest.
•Cleansers were launched as a complement to the Plenitude line as a
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