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For a brand in your chosen market, evaluate the product, branding and packaging issues that a marketing manager has to address.
Discuss the extent to which you think your chosen brand is successful and assess the threats it faces (e.g. from own labels).
What advice would you offer on the development of new products in this context?
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is a mythical French luxury brand created in 1961 by Yves Saint Laurent himself, the brand manufactures products for men and women such as clothes, shoes, jewellery, hats, sunglasses, handbags and fragrances (Kering, 2012) (YSL, 2016) (YSL, 2016). However, the brand Yves Saint Laurent Beauty is included in L’Oreal luxe group products since 2008 which represents fragrances for men and women, makeup and skincare (L’Oreal, No date) (Marie Claire, 2008). Although, there are many fragrances of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty (YSL beauty) which are references in the worldwide fragrance market for men with L’Homme or La Nuit de l’Homme and women with Black Opium or Opium, the brand has few issues related to some products. Therefore, this essay will analyse one product, branding and packaging problems of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, it will explore the extent to which the brand is successful, evaluate the threats it faces and it will give some advice regarding the development of new products.
The product, branding and packaging are important elements of the marketing mix, they are the most essential and visible contacts between a company and customers (Dibb et al, 2001). Buyers do not just buy the simple functional characteristic that a product offers since few others complexities are concerned in the purchase such as the smell of a perfume, health issues or skin sensitivity need to be reviewed before purchasing and using fragrances (Baines and Fill, 2014) (Gbadamosi, 2016). There are 3 products forms which allow comprehending these different features and benefits which are the core, the embodied and the augmented products forms (Baines and Fill, 2014). The core proposition can be defined as the real core benefit with a functional benefit such as what can a buyer do with the product or emotional benefit such as the emotions that the product provides to buyers (Ibid). For example, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty provides consumers and shopping products which can be represented as a high emotional value such as men or women fragrances and they are often purchased as gifts (Gbadamosi, 2016). However, Yves Saint Laurent « Yvresse » is a simple fruity fragrance so it needs to be more extravagant and elegant in order to be a good gift options especially when it is a gift for a woman and Yves Saint Laurent Beauty is a luxury brand so customers will have a high expectation about their core products proposition (Gbadamosi, 2016) (Fragrantica, 2016). The embodied proposition is another element of products forms which consists of the physical good that provides the product, It represents many factors such as the durability, the design, the packaging or the brand name (Baines and Fill, 2014). The fragrance « Yvresse » of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty may represent some issues of durability because the volume of the fragrance is only 80ml so it may be too small for customers and since the product is an eau de toilette the smell of the fragrance might not stay as long as an Eau de parfum so customers might use it more often (YSL Beauty, 2016). The design of the fragrance bottle has an important role in the success of a fragrance, especially in the luxury market. An extravagant and innovative design for a fragrance bottle may attract and catch the attention of potential customers since they might want to know more about the fragrance and the design will give a quick description of the product which helps the customers to identify the product (Gbadamosi, 2016). For instance, « Flowerbomb » perfume by Viktor Rolf is shaped as a hand grenade, « Ame Toscane Fantaisie Baroque » by Isabel Derroisne is an art design which represents the form of a baroque female or « Love Fury » by Nine West has a lid with the form of a high heel (Oddee, 2014). Therefore, all these fragrances have original shape and design of bottles so they can be easily identified from competitors brands whereas the fragrance « Yvresse » of Yves Saint Laurent has a basic shape and design so the product might have less attention than creative and artistic bottles of fragrance. Moreover, the design of « Yvresse » has changed from when it was launched in 1993 until 2016 so this change can get customers confused, it can decrease the recognition of the product or it can change the perception of the product from customers (Bois de Jasmin, 2006) (Ludden et al, 2008: 28). The packaging is also an element of the embodied proposition, it is used to protect the product integrity and it can be a brand communication instrument (Wells et al, 2007: 679) (Underwood et al, 2001: 403). The packaging design represents several elements like text, shape, graphic design, logo, size or material and all of this feature can allow the brand to have an impact on the consideration of consumers towards a product, to have a high brand familiarity or a high experimental benefits such as sensory pleasure or cognitive stimulation for consumers (Underwood et al, 2001: 405). However, the packaging of « Yvresse » has also changed a lot of times during the last 20 years and this change may have modified the consumer’s visual consideration of the package (Underwood et al, 2001: 405) (Make up alley, 2016). Therefore, a consumer might not purchase a product if there is a low brand familiarity or a poor cognitive stimulation, Yves Saint Lauren Beauty has to create a strong relationship with its target consumers by keeping them familiar with the same packaging for « Yvresse » fragrance. The brand name is also a feature of the embodied proposition, it is a symbol that differentiates the product of a seller from its competitors (Blythe, 2012). A brand name cannot be similar to an another brand name otherwise, the offended brand owner could take legal action against the offender. For instance, the winemakers took legal action in France against Yves Saint Laurent fragrance « Champagne » claiming that this brand name would confuse consumers and could expose the prestige of winemakers products so Yves Saint Laurent had to change the name from « Champagne » to « Yvresse » (Groom, 1997) (Paris Voice, 1994). The last feature of the product form is the augmented proposition which is the embodied offering plus all those others factors that are essential in order to support the purchase such as delivery, guarantees or the overall perception of customer service (Baines and Fill, 2014). For instance, the delivery of Yves Saint Laurent beauty products from their website takes between 3 and 5 working days so this might be too long for customers since fragrances are often purchased as gifts customers might want to receive the present the next working days especially for Christmas or birthday (YSL Beauty, 2016) (Gbadamosi, 2016). Furthermore, Yves Saint Laurent beauty do not offer any guarantees for their products whereas they are selling expensive products such as £77 for « Yvresse » fragrance, consumers would expect a reliable and convenient customers service in order to encourage their purchases (YSL Beauty, 2016) (Dibb et al, 2001). Although, Yves Saint Laurent beauty has some issues with the packaging and branding of « Yvresse » fragrance the brand has a high brand awareness in fragrance market and they are not facing many threats (Mintel, 2016).
The development of successful brands is important to the success of a company, famous brands establish wealth by attracting and retaining consumers (Baines and Fill, 2014) (Adcock et al, 2001). Brands allow
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- Herman Tubanza (Author), 2016, The Evaluation of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/424376