In our second week of lectures, we talked about different strategic problems. And one strategic problem that I related back to my placement year at Rimmel London was Benchmarking. Benchmarking in beauty is the easiest, cheapest and probably one of the fastest ways of creating a new product. You look at competitor products that are missing from your range, pick out a benchmark, and send it to the research and development team, who will then create a replica of the product with the brands packaging and formula.
The problem with benchmarking is that differentiation is low, as what you are producing is already on the market. If we look at Bowman’s Strategy Clock, Rimmel would probably be placed at either a 1 or a 2, as the prices are low, and the differentiation is low, because of the amount of product benchmarks used. Resulting in low perceived product benefits.
Now benchmarking isn’t always bad, if you use a competitor product in beauty, as a colour benchmark rather then a product benchmark and that the product is innovative enough, then there is still differentiation there. And having a benchmark will just facilitate things between the product managers and the factory. It will give the factory a physical product to compare the batches to, so that when samples of the new products are sent to the product managers to review, very little adjustments will need to be made.