Estée Lauder shifts marketing focus toward millennials to ‘turn around’ struggling Clinique brand

Estée Lauder is to shift its marketing to focus on millennial consumers for its Clinique range and eponymous brand after sales for its skincare business dipped by 6 per cent in its latest quarter.

The cosmetic business said it had been hurt by lower sales of “significant products” from the Estée Lauder and Clinique brands and will now look to digital to launch a slew of new campaigns and products targeting a younger audience as the shine of its heritage brands continues to dull.

Speaking on a call with investors today (17 August) Tracey Travis, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Estée Lauder, said it will implement learnings from its younger, “non-traditional advertised brands” such as Mac and Bobbi Brown as well as re-balance its media spend for Estée Lauder and Clinique.

“What we are seeing, even in our more traditional advertised bands is the impact of TV moderating and the impact of digital growing,” she said. “We have looked at balancing our investment spend across TV, print, digital and in store for those particular brands”.

For Clinique the beauty business will focus on a newly rolled out online influencers campaign – a strategy Estée Lauder chief executive Fabrizio Freda said is already making gains. A new range of moisturisers is also set to launch, with a robust digital campaign to support the product.

Meanwhile, a new partnership between Estée Lauder and beauty chain Sephora will see the creation of the Estée Edit, a collection designed specifically for millennials and supported by digital marketing and social media.

“Estée Lauder and Sephora are an important step forward for the brand and to modernise and rejuvenate the band in front of a millennial audience,” said Freda.

“They are excellent brands with a great equity around the world… They have huge appreciation and penetration around the world and those are important assets of the company and we want to continue to build on these assets”.

Estée Lauder will now accelerate cost saving efficiencies and reinvest these in the Estée Lauder skincare and Clinique businesses.

Overall sales across the business’ make-up, hair care and fragrance categories slipped from $2.73bn to $2.52bn year on year.

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