Business of Fashion
The modern fashion market industry consists of designer brands and mass market brands that differ in price, style and status of the consumers who purchase the product. In fact, the consumers can perfectly substitute the functional aspects of the products offered by the luxury brands. So why do people spend hundreds of billions of dollars on luxury products? In fact, while purchasing the premium segment products the buyers are plunged into the world of luxury. The products of the luxury brands are usually associated with the specific privileged lifestyle, popular people, events, or products that have the high social status. The presence of both components allows us to speak of luxurious characteristics of the product and explain its high cost. Thus, the marketing of the luxury segment brands is supposed to be one of the most complicated. The following paper is aimed to provide the 8P analysis of Yves Saint Laurent luxury beauty cosmetics brand as well as discuss the efficiency of the brand’s strategy aimed to broadcast the brand image and increase sales.
The story of Yves Saint Laurent brand success started in 1962, when Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge together officially registered the fashion house of Yves Saint Laurent and its logo with the combination of the first letters of the brand name. In fact, the originality of the style has become the hallmarks of Yves Saint Laurent brand. Its key features included clean lines, clear structure models and exclusively varied colors. Every year, under Yves Saint Laurent brand has introduced two ready-to-wear and two haute couture collections. In fact, the style of the brand gets the definition of luxurious sensuality. The subsequent release of the new collections, perfumes and accessories only strengthened the popularity and increase profits of YSL brand. Although YSL was founded by the man, the great maestro understood the women like no other. This quality has allowed him to create the fashion empire, which makes women stunningly beautiful. YSL cosmetics has constantly improved and updated. Each of the inventions, manufactured by the company's laboratory, becomes the real revolution in the world of beauty. Nowadays, the key pillars of YSL beauty include YSL Opium Parfume, YSL Everlong and Volumizing mascara, YSL Rouge Pur Couture silk lipstick, YSL Blush Radiance as well as YSL Gloss Repulpant.
Comparing to Louis Vuitton, YSL is not as popular in the Asian market. The successful experience of Louis Vuitton can serve as the example to the further step of the company’s development. For example, in 1978, Louis Vuitton opened the store in Japan. In fact, the company did not expect such success. Sine 1980s, the store in Japan has been bringing the half (55%) of the company’s sales revenue. According to te company’s estimates, almost every adult Japanese woman has at least one Louis Vuitton item in her wardrobe. The bran has created the atmosphere of France in Japan, which created the huge success among the Japanese consumers.
Nowadays, Yves Saint Laurent is supposed to be one of the world’s most famous fashion houses and beauty brands. Yves Saint Laurent brand produces perfumes and cosmetics, care products for face and body, as well as the collections of men's and women's clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories and jewelry. The distinctive feature of Yves Saint Laurent brand has always been the usage of only natural and high quality materials in the products creation process.
The cosmetics from the Yves Saint Laurent are classified as luxury. They include at least 80% of natural biologically active vegetable ingredients and raw materials produced in ecologically clean locations on different continents. According to Yves Saint Laurent cosmetics must be efficient, easy to use and bring happiness to each woman. In fact, Yves Saint Laurent always said that passion is the most beautiful makeup for a woman, but cosmetics are easier to buy.
European market is supposed to be the key sales area of YSL. However, the example of Louis Vuitton proves that the creative approach to the company’s promotion can become an efficient tool for the expansion onto Asian market.
YSL has always been promoted by the famous people. The French actress Catherine Deneuve has promoted Yves Saint Laurent for the long period of time. In addition, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, JeanneSea has stared wearing the dresses from Yves Saint Laurent. Jerry Hall and Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss and Sophie Dahl were supposed to be the face of Opium perfume in different times of the brand’s history. Nowadays, Cara Delevingne has signed a contract with the brand and officially became the face of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté makeup collection.
YSL uses tactical- driven paucity in its promotional and advertising campaigns. For example, in summer 2015, Yves Saint Laurent Beaute released perfume Magnificent Blossom Oriental Collection 2015 Limited Edition. The floral composition of the perfume is placed into the clear bottle with the decor of golden curls and black lacquer square on the front side of the bottle.
In July 2012, it was reported about the release of Yves Saint Laurent limited edition four color palettes of eye shadow Pure Chromatics devoted to the fans of Facebook social networking. The novelty is sold exclusively through the YSL brand page to its Facebook subscribers in 1650 copies release. The key feature of YSL Devoted to fans edition implied the blue Facebook official shade color. In fact, such pantone color has become the main reference of the new advertising campaign for the iconic YSL on Facebook. It should be mentioned that YSL Facebook Palette Devoted To Fans was the first cosmetic product, released exclusively for the Facebook network. In contrast to the classical gold color of YSL cosmetics, the product’s cover is made in the same blue Pantone color. The palette consists of four shade shadows, preserving the original format and function of Pure Chromatics line.
The persona of YSL includes the mixture of the distinctive features of the brand and communication received through its advertising. The visual identity of Yves Saint Laurent brand covers the specific type personality as well as emotional values of YSL girl.
The image of YSL girl implies the person who does not like to play by the rules and can easily break the standards of what is considered to be the ‘right’ and ‘appropriate’ makeup. She can wear the red lipstick at 9 o'clock in the morning, and come with a nude lips in the night. She likes to play with contrasts, but never goes completely without makeup. In fact, it is the girl who chooses the sophisticated luxury make-up, but her image still remains laconic.
In the luxury brand marketing, the placement refers to the way the products are sold and delivered to the customers. In other words it implies the convenience of the product distribution channel to the segment of the potential customers. The efficient distribution strategy includes the set of interrelated functions that are implemented in the process of interaction of the material flows and buyers. Thus, distribution logistics, and physical distribution are supposed to be activity related to the receipt of products, its preservation at the time of receipt and the following delivery to the customer. Most of YSL cosmetic products are distributed through the chain of the branded shops and luxury beauty stores. In fact, this model allows the brand to reduce the risks and to optimize the industrial production, ensuring the quality and authenticity of the product. The brand’s department of operations manages the global production and sales. The division comprises seven activities such as purchasing, packaging, production, quality control, logistics, environmental protection, occupational health and safety. The monitoring of the entire production chain, from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of goods to the points of sales, preserves the high quality as well as the luxurious aspects of YSL service. In fact, such strategy is similar to the strategy of Louis Vuitton, which provides most of its unique hand-made products in the exclusively branded stores.
PR of YSL implies the function of management which facilitates the maintenance of the mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its public, which influences on the brand’s success or failure. YSL marketing PR has been found to be effective in a variety of areas. The traditional advertising in the fashion and luxury magazines helps the brand to assure the consumers’ awareness about the latest collections and products. However, the modern trends and tendencies make Yves Saint Laurent to focus on the digital campaigns in its promotion strategy. The abovementioned activities help the brand to maintain the efficient dialog with its target audience. PR strategies of YSL and Louis Vuitton’s are quite similar. They correspond to the philosophy of the luxury branding.
The pricing policy is supposed to be an important part of Yves Saint Laurent marketing strategy. In fact, YSL brand uses the strategy of the so called ‘cream-skimming’ in its pricing policy. It implies the establishment of relatively high prices as the products are supposed to be prestige and characterized with the high level of quality. YSL strives to preserve the exclusivity of its products through the establishment of the prices available to the high income consumers. In fact, this approach is similar to Louis Vuitton’s strategy.
The 8P strategy of YSL brand can be considered quite efficient as it helps the brand to retain it exclusive and prevailed status. However, while comparing Yves Saint Laurent’s strategy to the actions of Louis Vuitton, it can be stated that YSL is recommended to increase its public relation activity as well as to assure even more exclusivity to its consumers.
The luxury segment in the beauty industry is characterized y the strict competition so that the innovativeness as well as the exclusiveness will help YSL to remain the position of one of the best beauty and fashion brands in the world.