Maybelline Inc.: About Face Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Problem Statement

Maybelline, the leading cosmetic company around the globe is enjoying success in the category of eye makeup and has significant market share in this segment. On the other hand, the company’s position in the face segment, especially in the foundation category is very weak. Therefore, the company is seeking ways of entering this growing segment and needs to analyze the challenges it has to face on the way ahead.


The analysis portion will start by analyzing the company’s strengths and weaknesses alongside the threats and opportunities the company can witness in its new endeavor using the SWOT model. Moving ahead using the STP model an analysis will be done regarding the company’s segmentation, target market and how the company will position itself in the minds of the target market. Furthermore,  the marketing mix will be developed and on the basis of analysis, alternatives will be generated.

SWOT Analysis


The company has some major strengths that play a considerable role in making the company a top brand in the industry. Maybelline was acquired by L’Oreal, which is why the company has significant research resources, and the R&D facility is outrageous. Besides that, the team is responsible for conducting research and development as it also poses a significant potential that can benefit the company. The brand image of the company is quite established and popular among the target market, and people perceive it as a stylish and charming.

Adding more to the strengths of the company is its strong brand loyalty and market penetration strategy that gives a superior hold to the company as compared to its competitors in the market. On the other hand, the company has a major advantage in the form of price that is considerably lower as compared to its competitors as the production cost of the company is very low. The company has the ability of developing products according to the demographic preferences and developing different versions of the product, keeping in mind the preferences of the country where the company is operating is also a major strength of the company.


Although the company is a major and popular brand in the industry but still the company has many weaknesses that include limited market share due to the presence of intense competition. On the other hand, the company has still not explored some major segments that offer lucrative profitability that further weakens its position in the industry with intense competition. Besides that, the company has witnessed successive failures in the foundation segment and the products launched in this segment showed disappointing results. Furthermore, one of the major issues that the company has suffered in the recent years is regarding the suitability of the cosmetic products for sensitive skin. These are some major weaknesses of the company that hinder its growth.


The R&D facility of the company is very impressive  and by leveraging this strength the company can develop many new products in the current segment and enter into new segments as well. The research facility of the company has immense potential, and the support of the parent company can also be utilized to strengthen their market share in undiscovered market segments within the cosmetic industry. The research facility can be utilized for new product development, designing, and product differentiation as well in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Besides this, one of the major opportunity that the company can utilize is by entering into new markets as well. The company has the strength in market penetration but can also move ahead for market development as well and enter into emerging markets that offer immense potential.  Although the company is present globally, but the company can also use product development strategy as well in the markets the company has a strong presence.


One of the major and prominent threat in the industry is from the competitors. The competition in the industry is growing intense and with the availability and presence of some major and reputed brands in the industry, Maybelline is under real threat in sustaining its market share. The competitors are as good as Maybelline but have a significant advantage in technology that further intensifies the threat from competitors.

On the other hand, the threat from substitutes is also very alarming, and the replicated copies of products that are the result of piracy that are readily available in the market are also creating threats for the company...........................

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Maybelline is the lead weight in the world of cosmetics. He is a huge success and commanding market share, especially in the category of eye makeup. Maybelline but also notes the weakness in the strategic segment of the face, especially in the lucrative product line basis. Approaches the task successfully developing this important category, looking at every aspect of the need to take this step, including: consumer marketing strategy, consumer behavior and buying patterns, demographic analysis, segmentation and targeting, product management, distribution channels, pricing, advertising and understanding the competitive environment. "Hide
by Julie Hennessy, Jill Carter, Jimmy Carter, Alice M. Tybout Source: Kellogg School Management 28 pages. Publication Date: January 1, 2004. Prod. #: KEL112-PDF-ENG

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