Lush is one of the leading cosmetics brands with a presence in over 50 countries. Its wildly colourful and playful nature of products has helped it win millions of users around the globe.
So let’s take a closer look into Lush’s social media strategies and marketing mix which helped it to acquire this huge market share. Further, the case study will briefly summarise the competitors’ strategies and run a quick analysis to figure out who’s got the competitive advantage when it comes to social media strategies.
Headquartered in Poole, United Kingdom, Lush was founded by trichologist Mark Constantine and his wife Mo Constantine in 1995. It has 951 stores globally and production facilities in the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Germany, and Australia producing and selling a variety of cosmetic products ranging from soaps and shampoos to scrubs and masks. One-fifth of its stores are located in the USA alone.
Lush doesn’t believe in advertising policies and hence, doesn’t spend extravagantly on television campaigns and celebrity endorsements unlike most of the other competitive brands.
However, it has been seen partnering with third parties occasionally. During the holiday season of 2018, the company partnered with several famous drag queens to promote its newest collections.
Through a “random act of kindness”, the company sometimes allows the staff to organize giveaways. Lush says that it works on the principle of making the store welcoming to all.
Now that we know about Lush and what its vision is, let’s directly jump to its marketing mix to develop a clearer understanding of the study.
Marketing Mix of Lush
The marketing mix focuses on the 4Ps of Product, Pricing, Place, and Promotion, which plays a vital role in determining a company’s ultimate offering to its target audience. So let’s have a look at the marketing mix of Lush:
Product Strategy of Lush
Lush is known for its natural handmade body care products. It is known for its handmade cosmetics and has positioned itself as a natural brand, providing fresh products without the use of any preservatives. It targets potential customers who prefer a natural and vegan lifestyle.
It produces and sells cosmetic products like hair and shower gel, face wash, bath bombs, body wash and fragrances, scrubs, and face masks.
It uses the following product strategies to attract its customers:
- All the products are made using vegetable recipes only, 85% of which are also vegan.
- It offers different varieties of various cosmetics based on the type of fruits used in flavouring.
- It emphasizes the need for a greener environment by using biodegradable products and re-used bottles.
A Lush store displaying their various products
Price Strategy of Lush
Lush has adopted a premium pricing strategy. To reduce costs, the company pays special attention to keeping packaging costs to a minimum. It prices its products comparatively higher due to the following reasons:
- The organic and handmade products drive up the cost
- It follows a strategy to keep the products fresh for a longer time which increases the cost
Their target audience is mainly upper-class women making the premium pricing strategy successful.
Place & Distribution Strategy of Lush
Lush operates in over 50 countries with 950+ stores globally and has partnered with many retailers worldwide.
It started its journey from a small place at Poole in England and spread its presence in several places in the world. Products can be purchased via retail outlets as well they are available online.
Promotion Strategy of Lush
Lush has adopted several marketing policies to promote its products. Lush’s promotion strategy is executed through both offline and online means. Its website provides various discounts and coupons on certain purchases.
The site’s landing page provides an option to choose a language as per one’s country. Customers’ word of mouth also plays a huge role in their brand’s advertising.
Lush’s website’s landing page
Let’s now understand Lush’s unique marketing strategies that helped it to prosper globally.
Marketing Strategy of Lush
Marketing strategies are a company’s long-term plan for acquiring prospective customers and retaining existing ones.
Lush has always been involved in some innovative marketing strategies that distinguish the brand in the market. Let’s have a look at some of these strategies:
The Unmarketing Philosophy
In the initial stages, Lush started experimenting with content to communicate its core values of protecting the environment with handmade natural products on its website.
It acted on its customers’ feedback from there and adjusted its content accordingly. This strategy may seem a basic step but it helped Lush with 40% more sales in 2016.
Go Naked – A Marketing Campaign of Lush
Lush is always busy discovering new ways of minimizing wastage. In one such discovery, it started selling its products with minimal packaging. It went with no packaging for some products which could be carried in colour-coded paper bags.
Lush marketed its new initiative with a ‘Go Naked’ advert in which it showed 4 naked women of various shapes and sizes standing with their back to the camera to promote body positivity.
However, the advert was highly criticized and termed as a pornographic campaign and eventually took down.
No Traditional Marketing
Lush does not believe in traditional marketing and hence, does not have a separate department for the same.
The founders believed that a good product is the best advertising a brand can have and thus, always focused on providing the customers with the best quality and innovative products.
Against Animal Testing – A Unique Selling Point
The founders were against animal testing even before starting the company and incorporated their ethical values in Lush too.
The company tested its products on human testers instead and did not relate with suppliers who did not share the same ideology.
Lush’s love for the environment is one constant that has always attracted new customers to its products.
Now that we know the company’s ideology and strategy to acquire customers, let’s have a look at the digital marketing strategy of Lush in the coming section.
Digital Marketing Strategy of Lush
Lush has a successful digital marketing strategy in place. It has a wide social media presence and can be found on various platforms namely Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. It promotes its products through digital means.
Lush’s Instagram Page
Lush’s Facebook Page
Lush’s Twitter Page
Lush’s Youtube Page
Lush has a huge following on all the given platforms. The company also has different channels based on geographical areas such as Lush UK, Lush Russia, and Lush Switzerland.
After having a closer look at Lush’s Instagram account, it was found that their reels can gather a reach of 43k views, their recent posts had an engagement of around 3k likes only.
One of the reasons can be the fact that there is no way of finding the true views of a post but reels can still be a powerful tool to expand their reach and hence, should be looked into.
A Time for Change:
Recently, Lush UK took a bold move to evolve its social media strategy to primarily focus and invest more heavily in its owned platforms (Lush.com, Labs.lush.com, and Lush Labs app) rather than third-party platforms.
They announced that they will no longer be posting on Lush UK’s main channels but will continue to communicate with their customers through hashtags such as #LashCommunity across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Competitors form a big part of a company’s success, doesn’t it? Let’s see what strategies Lush adopts that helps it to remain one step ahead of its competitors.
Competitor Analysis of Lush
Lush’s major competitor in the market is The Body Shop and the two have shared quite a history. Its co-founders were a major supplier to The Body Shop till 1994 when their non-compete agreement ended and voila, Lush was created the following year. Let’s do a quick analysis of their social media presence to learn more about their strategies:
The Body Shop’s Twitter Page
A company’s social media designs help it to attract customers to a great extent and hence, should not be neglected. The Body Shop maintains consistency on its Twitter page by using natural colours while Lush focuses on fun, funky and bright colours. Lush has remained one step ahead of The Body Shop in designing a colourful header photo for their page. The latter hasn’t taken out time to update it yet.
A brand’s tone of voice determines its relationship with the customers and helps it to sound appealing.
The Body Shop keeps a professional tone and focuses more on informative posts and tweets while Lush believes in a more friendly approach and occasionally shares about their experiences and team which has helped them to generate tons of customer interaction.
Engagement is a vital component of a brand’s social media strategy without which there is no point in putting all this hard work into thinking of new creative ideas and campaigns. Lush leveraged this rich user-generated content across their social channels and got positive results.
The Body Shop uses social media platforms to share about their products while Lush uses them to interact with their existing and potential customers. On average, Lush gains about 96 new followers with a loss of 2 followers a day. On the other hand, The Body Shop can gain only 45 new followers with a loss of 3 followers a day (Source: Audience Resources).
Here we come to an end to the marketing strategy of Lush. Let’s conclude our analysis of the case study now.
From being just a supplier to The Body Shop to competing with it head-to-head, Lush has come a long way. It has acquired a place in the customers’ hearts with its handmade natural products even after having a premium pricing strategy.
Lush believes in ‘no-advertising’ policy. It is respected worldwide for its practices to ensure minimal wastage to protect the environment. It has a competitive advantage over The Body Shop on social media which it needs to maintain and subsequently come up with a strong marketing strategy to execute at other platforms as well.
From this case study, we can analyze that Lush has a quality marketing strategy in action and they need to keep updating it to maintain their robust position.
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