In its latest annual report, Estée Lauder Companies mentioned the word millennial 19 times. As evident by the company’s recent acquisition spree of high-growth brands (e.g. Kilian GLAMGLOW, Le Labo), the company is focusing on targeting a young consumer base. So far, this strategy has worked as Estée Lauder Companies’ non-heritage, on-trend brands (e.g. MAC, Smashbox) comprise 60% of the sales mix and are 1.5x the size of established brands like Clinique, Estée Lauder.

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However, L2’s report on Beauty Sampling Estée Lauder’s sampling program shows the brand is under-leveraging opportunities to reach new customers – especially millennials. Beauty product sampling has become a par for the course as a marketing strategy, and 30% of beauty enthusiasts cite sampling as a top influence to purchase. Sephora is particularly useful sites for reaching millennials through sample distributions, as the majority of the site’s visitors are under 35 years old. The retailer offers a wide range of sampling opportunities for brands, from basics like foundation to trendy items like highlighters.

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The conglomerate’s share of samples on Sephora and Nordstrom pales in comparison to brands owned by L’Oréal and LVMH. Estée Lauder brands comprised just 5% of unique samples on Sephora and 18% on Nordstrom. In contrast, L’Oréal accounts for 32% of unique samples on Nordstrom and 21% of unique samples on Sephora. LVMH has concentrated its sampling efforts on Sephora, which it owns, accounting for 28% of samples on the beauty retailer. LVMH brands comprise just 3% of samples on Nordstrom.

 

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