Measuring and understanding the type of relationship buyers have with a brand is powerful information to leverage in innovation. Lancôme has a unique relationship with women compared to competitors such as Estee Lauder, Clinique and Avon. Women define their relationship with Lancôme as one based on exploration, which is differentiating among its cosmetic competitors.
A brand relationship based on exploration is defined as the desire to break away from an ordinary life and reach beyond one’s self to import excitement and adventure. The relationship women have with Lancôme involves discovering one’s individuality with a yearning for creativity and spontaneity. Examples of other brands that have an exploration relationship with their consumers are Red Bull, MasterCard and Harley Davidson.
To manage consumer expectations for a relationship built on exploration, Lancôme’s new product portfolio must continue to present them with options to fulfill their desire to explore self-identity. They have to continuously invent ways to remain fresh, adventurous and novel, and thereby keep women engaged through curiosity. Lancôme’s French attitude of bold glamour supports the exploration relationship; it comes through in their rich matte color palette, like vivid orange lipstick, enabling women to try on a new look and wear a different attitude for the day.
Brands that connect through an exploration relationship must continue to push the boundaries to innovate. The recent Lancôme lipstick advertising is produced as a music video rather than a typical cosmetic ad, which frames the brand in an explorer context. View below the Rouge in Love lipsticks ad:
We may have gotten it wrong all these years thinking brands segment to consumers based on demographics and purchase behavior when instead, consumers segment to brands based on the relationship the brand can fulfill for them. Consequently, making the relationship quantitatively visible enables leaders to manage it.
In the case of Lancôme perhaps a great business opportunity lies in partnering with brands involved in similar relationships with their target audience. What could Lancôme and MasterCard do together to better serve these women? What could Red Bull and Lancôme do together to promote an exciting nightlife? The next frontier in marketing will be to quantitatively type and manage relationships with customers.
data source: buyologyinc.com & imagecredit:capecinema
Donna Sturgess is the President and Co-founder of Buyology Inc and former Global Head of Innovation for GlaxoSmithKline. Her latest book is Eyeballs Out: How To Step Into Another World, Discover New Ideas, and Make Your Business Thrive.