Jessica Wang, Jana Levin, Jackie D’Aquila, David Sit
For decades, Avon has been an iconic brand for its unique business model, active service to the community, and success as a global name. However, since 2008, Avon’s profits have been falling significantly due to a failure to adapt to changes in the macroenvironment. For example, the recent growth of technology has influenced the way that consumers are buying beauty products. Direct selling has decreased in popularity due to increases channels of distribution, and more consumers turning to the Internet to make cosmetics purchases. Yet, Avon remains behind other major beauty ...view middle of the document...
Ultimately, all of these problems have posed challenges against the strong brand identity that Avon once had. Avon’s decisions have left them with a brand image that is inconsistent with its brand identity. In order to recover financially, Avon must work to regain brand equity and reestablish its identity as leading producer and distributor of consumer products and create new, positive brand associations.
For more, see appendix 1.
II. REPOSITION STRATEGY
In order to remain a competitive force in the beauty industry, Avon must increase its appeal to a more modern consumer, without compromising its unique selling point. At the same time, Avon should capitalize on its iconic model while working to reach the younger market as a foundation for its revived brand image.
First, Avon must define their target market. Figure 30 shows that Avon’s main customer base consists of mostly moderate-means, married women with families, who live outside of London. It is important to maintain these customers, but the brand must attempt to attract a young customer base. According to a report on teens and tween beauty habits in the UK, “teenagers use a wide range of beauty/personal care products, many of which are not targeted at their age group, for example, Dove, Rimmel and NIVEA” (Richmond, 2009). This 15-24 year-old market is an ideal target segment as they are “more likely to try different brands” according to Mintel’s report 2010: Female Beauty and Personal Care Consumer, which makes it easier for Avon to promote new product trials.
Within the younger market Avon needs to use a differentiated positioning strategy within the crowded cosmetics industry based on innovation and customer service. The key to this repositioning is in communicating a refreshed brand identity that modernizes their image as delivering an experience through their direct selling model, promoting the added value of the advice and relationship with the company’s representatives. This positioning returns the brand to its original iconic brand image, allowing them to better realize benefits of their strong brand equity, but it must emphasize a renewed direct selling that is different from door-to-door sales and focuses on innovative technology that allows for convenient two-way communication between the consumer and representatives. This positioning of innovation at first may seem impossible in association with direct selling but according to Mintel’s 2013 UK Beauty Retail report this outdated business model is actually seen as innovative by consumers (Figure 1).
In order to achieve this repositioning Avon first needs to reconstruct a coherent brand identity through communicating an extended identity that better represents its core identity of direct selling. They should continue to use a symbolic brand strategy based on personal meaning but through the use of a brand-as-a-friend method represented by its new young tech-savy ‘Avon Girl’ (not lady) instead of continuing...