In our first week back into third year, in our first lecture on strategy we were asked which definition of strategic theory we thought was the most accurate. The one that I thought related the most to what I had experienced throughout my placement year at Rimmel London was Michael Porter’s definition of strategy, which states that “competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value”. I think this is very true, especially within the beauty industry. When it comes to buying makeup and choosing between different makeup brands, customers will be drawn to products and brands that offer new and innovative products.
Within colour cosmetics one of the biggest competitors on all levels, within luxury or a drug store level is L’Oreal. First came fast food, then fast fashion and now fast beauty. Just like the fashion industry, beauty is now all about trends and making sure that those new trends are out and in stores before any other competitors. Instead of focusing on the products that have sold well in the past and on products that competitors are selling well, beauty companies need to focus on whats next. One of Rimmel’s problems was just that, products weren’t selling as much as we wanted them to because our products always came out in stores months after those of our competitors. Why would anyone want to by three of the same lipstick, mascara, or foundation?