The current report analyzes the color cosmetics market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and presents a marketing plan for an organic foundation produced by the brand Make Up For Ever. Customers in the highly competitive UAE cosmetics environment are mostly women aged 25-40 years. Major competitors include Estée Lauder, various L’Oréal brands, Shiseido, and Revlon. These companies offer products at different price points, with Estée Lauder being the most influential in the country. To promote its product, Make Up For Ever should focus on establishing competitor-based pricing, raising brand awareness, employing social media collaboration, and providing customer service.
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External Environmental Analysis
In the UAE, the makeup products and skincare industry is growing, reflecting an increase in popular interest regarding appearance, presentation, and personal health (Ali, Saad, Ahmed, & El-Haj, 2015). Demographic analysis shows that while both men and women use various cosmetics, men pay more attention to skincare and hair products (Rajput, 2016). Women of all ages are interested in color cosmetics, and young women of working age are the leading group of consumers (Chęś, 2016).
The economy of the UAE is on the rise, meaning that many customers have money to spend on non-essential goods (Trainer, 2017). Therefore, the market for color cosmetics is estimated to grow about 4% over the next five years (Mordor Intelligence, 2018). The cultural environment in the UAE is rooted in beauty and self-care, relating cosmetics to professionalism, status, and health.
The political environment in the UAE presents several barriers for cosmetics manufacturers and sellers. For example, the religious makeup of the country has introduced rigid Halal standards for cosmetics products (no animal killing of certain animal-based products), consulting local certification guidelines for identification (Sadaqat, 2018). Thus, companies should review their practices in order to adhere to government standards.
Technologically, the UAE is a developed state whose inhabitants exhibit an appreciation for both local and foreign products. Finally, the country’s natural environment is impacted by issues such as air pollution, waste generation, limited water resources, and land degradation (Mordor Intelligence, 2018). Thus, a company entering the market should consider environmentally sustainable options.
|Company name||Target customers||Key features||Price range (foundation)||Market share|
|Estée Lauder||Women, 25-50 years old, middle- to high-income|| ||Each product costs about $50 (“Estée Lauder,” n.d.)||Undisclosed|
|L’Oréal Brands (Garnier, L’Oréal Paris, NYX, Maybelline, Vichy, Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Urban Decay, Giorgio Armani, and others)||Each brand targets a specific group, including young and adult women and men, people with different incomes.|| ||From $12 to $200 (depending on the brand) (“Giorgio Armani,” n.d.; “L’Oréal Paris,” n.d.)||Undisclosed|
|Shiseido||Women, 20-50 years old, middle- to high-income|| ||From $40 to $90 (“Shiseido,” n.d.)||Undisclosed|
|Revlon||Women, 18-30 years old, low- to middle-income|| ||From $10 to $18 (“Revlon,” n.d.)||Undisclosed|
Clearly, the makeup industry is highly competitive as it includes a significant number of brands offering products in many categories. It is also important to note that women dominate the market for color cosmetics. The major competitor in the UAE is Estée Lauder, often mentioned as a brand favored by Emirates women (Mordor Intelligence, 2018). This company targets adult women who have the ability to buy expensive cosmetics.
The table presented above focuses on the price ranges for foundation, and each discussed brand presents a line offering different liquid and powder-based products. Nonetheless, none of the reviewed companies identify their foundation as based on organic components. Thus, a competitive position for the analyzed brand, Make Up For Ever, would be to emphasize the organic nature of the new product, highlighting its ingredients, manufacturing process, and impact on the user’s skin.
Consumers of color cosmetics are seeking to fulfill multiple needs. First, makeup arguably serves the utilitarian purpose of making the wearer’s skin tone more even and resistant to external damage (from the sun, dust, or dirt). Moreover, some consumers use color cosmetics to present themselves in the best possible way, fulfilling their social needs at work or social gatherings (Sena, 2018). Finally, wearing makeup is often linked to confidence, thus helping people on an emotional level.
Choosing a foundation involves going through multiple stages before making a decision. First comes recognizing the need to purchase a product. Consumers may then search for information about various products to see all possible options. In this case, women can go online to research products in online stores, or they may go to brick-and-mortar stores and talk to consultants. This information search is also influenced by advertisements and word of mouth—for example, perusing reviews for cosmetics is a popular way of evaluating the quality of products. Subsequently, clients will evaluate their alternatives.
Price, quality, brand recognition, sustainability, accessibility, and other factors contribute to the final choice. After the customers complete the next step—purchasing the product—they assess their decision and formulate an opinion about the chosen item as well as the company that manufactured it. At this stage, some clients may choose to return to the same business to purchase other products.
Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
The product market for color cosmetics is highly fragmented based on customer gender, income, age, skin color and type, particular needs, and priorities. Some major segments include professional makeup, luxury makeup, drugstore makeup, and organic makeup. Moreover, separate categories exist for anti-aging products as well as items for people with skin problems. Men’s color cosmetics, more recently developed in the industry, are much less prevalent on the market than women’s. These descriptions relate to demographic segmentation and serve to guide most companies’ targeting practices. Niches such as Halal products, vegan goods, locally produced items, and others exist in the industry as well.
In the UAE, customers are often concerned with the color cosmetics’ Halal certification due to the religious structure of the state. Therefore, it is reasonable to include this characteristic in the basic target group. Another trait of the product is that it is organic: “green,” healthy for the skin, and comprised of natural ingredients. The target market for such products is young women (20-35 years old) who are interested in protecting and keeping their skin healthy while contributing to environmental protection and sustainability (Lin, Yang, Hanifah, & Iqbal, 2018).
The product will be offered to people from middle to high income, reflecting the preferences of modern UAE customers (Wu, Deng, & Jiang, 2018). The objective of this positioning is to show that natural cosmetics are beneficial to health and beauty without threatening damage to the surrounding world.
Product and Branding Strategy
In the category of color cosmetics, most products require frequent replenishment. As foundations often cannot be skipped, customers have a high rate of return. Moreover, in contrast to other types of makeup products, users select foundation based on their skin tone, implying that people may use a highly limited number of products at the same time. This means that it is vital to acquire returning customers who will purchase new products after their previous supplies are consumed. Therefore, the lifecycle of such products is extended because the need does not dissipate with each purchase. The product line will focus on producing skin tone shades that meet the needs of customers in the UAE.
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The core of the product provides an even skin tone and base for makeup. The actual product is a foundation in a liquid form, packaged in a glass container with a dispenser. It will consist of 15 different tones, numbered from the lightest to the darkest, to provide clients with an easy way of remembering their color preference. The material, glass, is chosen to reflect the deluxe, organic nature of the product; in contrast to plastic, a glass container can easily be recycled and turned into a new bottle.
The augmented product includes customer service in selecting the shade, delivery of products purchased online, and customer care in receiving feedback about the product. The product under the brand “Make Up For Ever” will hold the name “Natural Beauty” and a slogan “Healthy skin with makeup, forever.” The branding strategy will include information about the dangers of non-organic makeup and the benefits of using natural ingredients. Brand development will consider Halal standards, animal testing regulations, use of synthetic ingredients, and environmental protection.
The price of the final product will be based on competitors’ pricing and the brand’s other items. The competitor-based pricing of $40 per bottle reflects the fact that the market is highly competitive, and the message of organic cosmetics is not as appealing as other vital factors (McDougall, 2017; Wu et al., 2018). The new product will be introduced without sales or discounts because the brand targets middle- and high-income clients. Future price adjustment is possible in the case of positive customer feedback about the product’s quality.
Marketing Communications Strategy
The marketing objectives are to interest customers in purchasing organic cosmetics. In the UAE, clients are already interested in environmentally friendly, natural, and Halal products. Therefore, the promotion mix will incorporate these features and rely on social media as well as print and digital publications to promote the new foundation. Advertising on social media platforms will focus on pull strategy through collaboration with fashion bloggers and reviewers.
Personal selling will happen in stores, where assistants will invite clients to try a new natural foundation for healthy skin (push). Overall, the strategy will be mixed to draw customers in and create a demand for the new product. The best mode of communication is social media, and the tone will be positive, gentle, and conscientious. A potential barrier is clients’ lack of knowledge about organic products (Ma, Rau, & Guo, 2018). The message to communicate to customers is: “Healthy skin with makeup, forever.”
The distribution will be separated into multiple channels for online and real-life purchases. A part of the products will be sold to wholesalers and then to retail outlets in stores. Another portion of the goods will remain in warehouses to be sold online and delivered to customers. Thus, purchases will be both direct and indirect, and the company may encounter conflicts with retail stores due to shipment dates, pricing, advertisement, and storage. The market intermediaries will be wholesalers, retailers, consultants, and online store workers. To adhere to the theme of organic cosmetics, the company will provide customers with a reverse channel to send the bottles back for recycling.
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