Simplified SWOT Analysis Of Milani Cosmetics

Updated on: Mar 16, 2024

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

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Here, we will look at the SWOT analysis of Milani Cosmetics.

In the dazzling kaleidoscope of the beauty world, Milani Cosmetics stands out not just as a budget-friendly haven, but as a vibrant champion of color and inclusivity. From its humble beginnings in 1933 to its reign as a drugstore darling, Milani has empowered generations of women with high-quality products and an enduring motto: “Color Your World.”

 In an era where the world is rapidly transitioning online, Milani Cosmetics has adeptly adapted to the changing landscape of marketing. Online presence and digital marketing are very important in today’s world for growing a business. To know more about digital marketing and its different attributes, do check out the Free Digital Marketing Masterclass by Karan Shah the founder and CEO of IIDE.

If you’re as curious as we are about Milani Cosmetic’s success formula, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll learn about the Third-Party strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Milani Cosmetics, but before that let us look at the company.

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About Milani Cosmetics

swot analysis of Milani

Milani was founded over 20 years ago, with the passionate belief that everyone should have the opportunity to own & enjoy luxury beauty. To this day, it continues to innovate for and with our diverse community and relentlessly test the  limits of what’s available  at affordable prices. It delivers high-end yet accessible luxury while championing inclusivity, self-expression and experimentation through makeup.

Milani Cosmetics, founded in 2001 by siblings Ralph Bijou and Laurie Minc, has become a recognizable name in the beauty industry. The brand is celebrated for its diverse range of high-quality, affordable makeup products, catering to a wide spectrum of skin tones. Milani takes pride in its commitment to cruelty-free practices and inclusivity, setting itself apart in an industry that is constantly evolving.

Driven by a passion for innovation, Milani continuously adapts to the dynamic beauty landscape. Recent ventures into sustainability and vegan product lines showcase the brand’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of its discerning consumer base. As Milani Cosmetics continues to inspire confidence and celebrate diversity, it remains a compelling choice for beauty enthusiasts seeking both quality and affordability in their makeup choices.

Current news about Milani Cosmetics

September 18, 2023: Milani Cosmetics continues its unstoppable rise, notably as the only independent brand in the top 10. Remarkably, Milani achieves its outstanding metrics without the backing of a multinational parent or an IPO. Unlike many competitors relying on price hikes for growth, Milani expands both in dollars and units.

In the past 52 weeks, while the category’s unit advances averaged 4%, Milani outperformed with a remarkable 12% growth. This underscores Milani’s ability to not only maintain but significantly increase market share, showcasing its robust and sustainable growth. The brand’s success in the fiercely competitive beauty market without conventional support structures highlights its resilience, strategic.

( Source: Linkedin page )

Competitors of Milani Cosmetics

  1. Maybelline: This drugstore giant offers equally affordable and trendy makeup, often vying for the same space in shoppers’ baskets. They have a broader product range and stronger brand recognition, but Milani can counter with more vibrant color options and a cruelty-free edge.
  2. Wet n Wild: Their “wildly affordable” motto reflects their ultra-budget-friendly price point, appealing to even more cost-conscious customers. They’re known for fun, experimental products, but consistency issues can hurt their image.
  3. ColourPop: This online-first brand reigns supreme in the “fast fashion” of makeup, offering trendy palettes and lipsticks at accessible prices. However, their limited availability and reliance on influencer collaborations can pose challenges.
  4. NYX Professional Makeup: Although pricier than Milani, they straddle the drugstore-high-end line, offering quality formulas and professional vibes. Their diverse offerings and strong influencer partnerships attract a broader audience.
  5. e.l.f. Cosmetics: Their commitment to inclusivity and vegan/cruelty-free products aligns with Milani’s values, while their lower price point can be tempting. However, quality fluctuations and limited packaging appeal can hold them back.

Buyer Persona of Milani Cosmetics

Buyer’s Persona






20 years




  • Ease of shopping.
  • Ordering in a few clicks.
  • Huge variety to choose from.
  • Quality Products.

Interest & Hobbies

  • Reading.
  • Shopping
  • Dancing
  • Cooking

Pain Points

  • Inconsistent information on social
    media channels.
  • Slow website and checkout process.
  • Poor UI/UX of the website.
  • Stock Availibilty.

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Tinder

SWOT Analysis of Milani Cosmetics

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is used as a tool to know and analyze the market position and general health of a business. It is extremely useful and is done by every old as well as a new business to determine the most effective future path.

Analyzing the external opportunities and threats may also help to know the necessary steps that could be taken to make provisions and develop strategies.


Strengths of Milani Cosmetics

  • Affordable Price Point: Milani reigns supreme in the realm of budget-friendly beauty, offering high-performing products at a fraction of the cost of high-end brands.
  • Trendy & Innovative: From vibrant color palettes to unique formulas, Milani stays ahead of the curve, catering to trendsetters and makeup enthusiasts.
  • Cruelty-Free & Vegan Options: Ethical practices are important to today’s consumer, and Milani’s commitment to cruelty-free and vegan products resonates with a growing segment of the market.
  • Engaging Digital Presence: Their dynamic social media presence builds brand loyalty, keeps followers engaged, and fosters a sense of community.

Weaknesses of Milani Cosmetics

  • Marketing Budget Gap: Compared to industry giants, Milani’s marketing budget is modest, restricting their reach and visibility.
  • Drugstore Perception: Despite offering high-quality products, Milani sometimes struggles to shed the “drugstore” image and compete with the perceived luxury of high-end brands.
  • Inconsistent Quality: Occasional reports of quality inconsistencies in some products can damage brand trust and reputation.
  • Online Reliance: Milani’s increasing dependence on online sales makes them vulnerable to website glitches and delivery delays

Opportunities of Milani Cosmetics

  • Premium Expansion: Introducing sub-brands with higher-quality ingredients and luxurious packaging could tap into a new customer segment without alienating their existing base.
  • Influencer Power: Expanding strategic partnerships with diverse influencers can further target specific demographics, address niche beauty concerns, and leverage the trust these voices hold.
  • Clean & Sustainable Edge: Embracing clean beauty trends and investing in sustainable packaging can solidify Milani’s appeal to eco-conscious consumers and stand out in a crowded market.
  • Personalization Play: Utilizing data and AI to offer personalized product recommendations and subscription boxes can create a more intimate customer experience and boost loyalty.

Threats of Milani Cosmetics

  • Competitive Landscape: The drugstore beauty space is heating up, with new brands and private labels constantly emerging. Milani needs to innovate and differentiate to stay ahead.
  • Costly Climb: Inflation and rising ingredient costs could force price increases, jeopardizing their core competitive advantage of affordability.
  • Trendy Trap: Trends can be fleeting, and Milani needs to stay agile and adaptable to avoid being left behind by the next big wave.
  • Social Slip-ups: A single misstep on social media can ignite negative buzz and damage their carefully curated image.
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Failed campaigns of Milani Cosmetics

Missteps and Lessons: Failed Campaigns That Shaped Milani

While Milani boasts a vibrant success story, it’s important to acknowledge moments where they stumbled. These missteps, though unfortunate, offer valuable lessons for growth and future endeavors. Here are a few examples:

1. Cultural Appropriation: In 2017, Milani faced backlash for releasing an eyeshadow palette named “Viva La Playa” and featuring imagery some deemed culturally insensitive. Critics pointed out the appropriation of Mexican iconography without appropriate context or collaboration. Milani ultimately pulled the palette and issued an apology, but the incident highlighted the importance of cultural sensitivity and respecting diverse communities.

2. Tone-Deaf Shade Names: In 2018, some Milani lipsticks sparked controversy with names like “Illegal”, “Blackmail”, and “Pimps Up Everything”. Critics viewed these names as offensive and inappropriate, particularly within the context of the beauty industry’s history of perpetuating negative stereotypes. Milani later renamed these shades, emphasizing the need for thoughtful and inclusive product naming that considers potential harmful connotations.

3. Lack of Inclusivity: While Milani has made strides in expanding its shade ranges, past criticisms centered around a lack of diversity in promotional imagery and campaign models. This led to accusations of tokenism and failing to represent the full spectrum of the brand’s target audience. Milani has since made a conscious effort to showcase wider diversity in models and campaign imagery, demonstrating their commitment to inclusivity.
Here is an example of a backlash faced by Milani Cosmetics:

What was the issue?

Milani Cosmetics faced backlash after one of its products was used as evidence in the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. During the trial, Heard’s lawyer showed the court Milani Cosmetics’ All In One Correcting Kit, which she said Heard carried throughout the relationship to cover her bruises. While neither the name of the brand nor the specific product appears to have been mentioned, the distinctive packaging led the concealer to be identified as Milani Cosmetics.

What backlash did the brand face?

 Following this, Milani Cosmetics released a 15-second video on its official TikTok account claiming that the Correcting Kit Bredehoft showed to the court only launched in 2017, after the couple were divorced. The video has since caused backlash online, with many people calling out Milani for getting involved in a domestic violence case. Several posts criticized the “meme-ification” of a domestic violence case, while others wrote that it was “extremely scary to see corporations interfering in public opinion of court cases like this”.

What did the brand do in this situation?

 Milani Cosmetics defended itself by releasing a video on its official TikTok account, claiming that the Correcting Kit Bredehoft showed to the court only launched in 2017, after the couple were divorced. The brand also wrote “We are here to provide the facts of the case,” in the comments. However, the video has since caused backlash online, with many people calling out Milani for getting involved in a domestic violence case


Milani Cosmetics stands at a crossroads. Capitalizing on their strengths, acknowledging their weaknesses, and navigating the landscape of opportunities and threats will determine their future. By embracing innovation, inclusivity, and a strategic digital presence, Milani can solidify its position as a beloved drugstore darling, one vibrant palette at a time.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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