When I think of Estée Lauder, I think of makeup that old ladies with perfectly applied blush would wear. Estée Lauder’s core demographic consists of older women with more mature skin. Their makeup is timeless, classy and well, a bit boring to me. I usually walk past their makeup counters without a second glance. The only time I’ve tried it in the past 2 years was for a powder foundation which I fell flat for me. The brand itself seems a little outdated to me and they don’t really have many cult classics, aside from their Double Wear Foundation. Because none of their products seem very innovative, I’m never tempted to go out and try them.
Lately, the brand has been trying to appeal to the younger makeup crowd. To do this, they have improved their Instagram posts by carefully placing their products in strategic positions and finding the perfect lighting to show them in. However, I do think their posts are a bit too planned. It’s nice to see some posts that are spontaneous and imperfect; it connects to the public more. The point of social media is to cast yourself in a good light but it should still be personable. Recently, Estée Lauder also made Kendall Jenner the new face of Lauder. This move has stirred up a lot of controversy being that Kendall Jenner is from the Kardashian clan, a family that thrives on scandal. Making Kendall Jenner a part of Estée Lauder seems a bit desperate. Their plan is to most likely attract young teens that want to wear some of Kendall’s favorite Estée Lauder products who probably can’t even afford to buy those products. I think celeb placement can only get them so far since their products don’t seem innovative or daring. There are many other younger celebrities that Estée Lauder could’ve chosen as their new face that would still channel the brand’s classic identity. I also wonder why they haven’t come out with any new and exciting lines that will get beauty bloggers and makeup artists talking about the brand. Besides their double wear foundation, there isn’t anything exceptionally rave worthy about the brand which casts it in a troubling position in the age of online makeup blogs and videos.
Estée Lauder doesn’t really have that appeal that would make younger makeup enthusiasts want to try their brand. For example, Chanel is for more mature women yet they have a certain allure that makes even younger women want to try it. I know many younger women would want to try Chanel because of their luxurious and classic allure. Even if they can’t afford Chanel products when they are young, they would consider saving and splurging on them in the future. There is something missing in Estée Lauder’s brand identity that separates itself from other classic brands like Chanel.
In order to keep up with the times, many brands often try to start appealing to the younger crowd, alienating their core older demographic. The problem I have with this is that the younger set isn’t really where the money is at and trying to appeal to them when your brand is clearly for the more mature set screams of trying way too hard to be cool. There’s a fine line between broadening your market group and trying too hard to rejuvenate your brand. I’m not entirely sure what their marketing team is trying to achieve. If they wanted people to start talking about the brand by using Kendall Jenner, then they’ve succeeded. Using Kendall Jenner’s name to gain some popularity seems like a cheap cop out at a new marketing initiative. They say no press is bad press but I think in order for Estée Lauder to stand the test of time, they’re going to have to start coming out with more innovative products to gain new customers and keep their old ones too.