Previously we had discussed a case study on the marketing strategy of Maybelline. Today in this case study we will be looking at the marketing strategy of Lush another leading cosmetic brand.
Lush is one of the leading cosmetics brands with a presence in over 50 countries. Its wildly colorful and playful nature of products has helped it win millions of users around the globe.
So let’s take a closer look into the marketing strategy of Lush and its 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.
Marketing strategies are ingrained in a company’s DNA and have the power to make or break its success. As people from all over the world look for the digital world, marketing has evolved. To learn more about contemporary digital marketing, nevertheless, have a look at our CEO’s free seminar, Digital Marketing 101.
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.
What’s new with Lush
Check out some current news about Lush:
- Lush is among a number of UK beauty and fashion brands joining India’s Fashion Forum 2023.
- Lush Cosmetics opening a Lush Hair Lab salon in Brighton.
- Lush taps into the Barbie craze with a limited-edition collection. A comprehensive selection of personal and beauty care items in the iconic pink colour of the doll is available in the Barbie x Lush Collection.
Now that we know about Lush let’s understand the target customers of Lush.
Target Audience of Lush
The primary target market of Lush Cosmetics is young, working women between 18 and 45 years old. These women earn middle-to-high wages and have advanced degrees. Additionally, they typically reside in cities or close by.
To get a clear understanding have a look at the buyer’s persona of Lush given below:
- Natural, ethical skincare.
- Handmade, eco-friendly choices.
- Self-care and well-being.
- Personal values alignment.
- Innovative beauty experiences.
Interest & Hobbies
- Art, design, creativity.
- Art galleries, exhibitions.
- Photography, DIY (possibly).
- Live music, and cultural events.
- Exploring cafes, and shops.
- Ethical, sustainable product search.
- Sensitive skin considerations.
- Overwhelming beauty choices.
- Keeping up with trends.
Social Media Presence
Now that we know about Lush and its vision, 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 play 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:
- 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. Lush primarily focuses on creating print/poster ad campaigns.
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.
The brand launched an advertising campaign for its newly launched product in 2021, you can check it out here –
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 the marketing strategy of Lush:
Branding and Positioning
Lush has created a vibrant and distinctive brand identity to attain maximum recognition in the cosmetics sector. Lush has developed an instantly recognized brand image thanks to its vividly coloured packaging and creative product names. The utilization of the interesting marketing strategy of Lush and an active social media presence, both have positioned Lush as a premium, yet quirky and approachable company, further strengthening this brand image.
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.
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.
Over the past year, Lush has made limited edition licensed product agreements a key component of its retail strategy, and it is reaping the benefits. It has released cross-collaborations with some of the largest brands in gaming, TV, toys, and entertainment. Some of them are mentioned here:
- Lush’s limited edition bathing range which is inspired by Nintendo’s popular Super Mario Bros gaming franchise.
- Exclusive Lush x SpongeBob collection a partnership with TV network Paramount has been another huge success.
- Mattel-approved Lush X Barbie product range and pop-up is the recently launched limited edition. Celebrating the pink color in all its glory.
Marketing Campaigns of Lush
Sometimes it is fury over how people treat animals, sadness over how people treat one another or fear over the state of climate change and our vulnerable earth.
Lush always collaborate with activist, grass-roots organizations, and campaign organizations who devote their life to the featured problem when they launch campaigns about these issues through their stores and websites. Following are some examples of the campaigns of Lush:
Have a Heart Campaign
Lush collaborated with the nonprofit Galop to create the Have a Heart Campaign, which seeks to outlaw “conversion therapy.”
Around Valentine’s Day in the UK, our campaign urged our clients and staff to scan a QR code to email their local representatives urging them to support the ban.
In August 2021, we witnessed the start of Animal Aid’s campaign to #BanSnares, featuring across all 101 UK Lush shops. A stunning performance by aerial dancers in Lush Oxford Street over the weekend beautifully depicted the pain of being caught in a snare.
Lush campaign to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators
Lush Cosmetics has started a new campaign to increase public awareness of the value of pollinators to the global food supply and ecosystem.
Sales of Lush’s limited-edition Rose Butterfly Bath Bomb benefit charities that seek to safeguard important insects and mammals.
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 help it to remain one step ahead of its competitors.
Let’s do a quick analysis of their social media presence to learn more about the marketing strategy of Lush:
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 colorful 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.
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 the social media marketing strategy of Lush 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).
Competitor Analysis of Lush
Let’s have a look at the competitors of Lush:
- Natura & Co: Natura & Co is a Brazilian global personal care cosmetics group headquartered in São Paulo.
- Body Shop: The Body Shop is a British manufacturer of cosmetics, skin care products, and fragrances.
- Sephora: Sephora is another French multinational retailer that provides personal care and beauty products. Check out the marketing strategy of Sephora to get more insights about the brand.
- Bath & Body Works: Bath & Body Works, LLC. is an American retail chain that provides candles, soaps, lotions, and scents. In 1990, it was established in New Albany, Ohio.
To beat the competition and sustain the changing market trends the marketing strategy of Lush needs to be well-planned. Lush needs to keep up with the new trends.
Before concluding let us see any campaign of Lush that did not work well or faced any backlash.
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. It showed 4 naked women of various shapes and sizes standing with their backs to the camera to promote body positivity.
Lush Cosmetics in Australia and New Zealand had clashed with the country’s Advertising Standards Board over this campaign. The image was deemed “pornographic” and “inappropriate for the family environment of the shopping center,” according to a number of complaints that were sent to the Advertising Standards Board.
Hence, the advert was highly criticized and termed as a pornographic campaign and eventually taken down.
Here we come to the end of a case study on 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 a ‘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, there should be a strong marketing strategy of Lush to execute on other platforms as well.
From this case study, we can analyze that the marketing strategy of Lush has a quality in action and they need to keep updating it to maintain their robust position.
Liked this blog? Interested in learning further? Do check our website for more amazing case studies like the Marketing strategy of Lush. Also, if you’re interested in Digital Marketing, you can check out our Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah.
Let us know your thoughts on the marketing strategy of Lush in the comment section below. Thank you for reading, do share with your peers.