Introducing Skincare by La Prairie to the Swedish Market

Term Paper, 2012

23 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Terms of Reference

3. La Prairie’s Marketing
3.1. The Luxury Brand Marketing Mix
3.2. Brand Strategy
3.2.1. Global Presence
3.2.2. Exclusivity
3.2.3. Brand Extensions
3.2.4. Forward integration of activities
3.2.5. Leveraging PR to enhance brand image

4. The Swedish market for superpremium skincare
4.1. Positive external factors for La Prairie
4.1.1. Changing Attitudes
4.1.2. Tourism to Stockholm
4.1.3. Ease in expansion to a European market
4.2. The Swedish core target
4.3. Competition in the Swedish market for superpremium skincare
4.4. La Prairie’s SWOT is the Swedish market
4.4.1. Strengths and Opportunities on the B2B level
4.4.2. Existing knowledge
4.4.3. Appealing brand attributes
4.4.4. Weaknesses and Threats

5. Adapting the La Prairie Brand to the Swedish market
5.1. Marketing Communications in Sweden
5.1.1. Pre-Launch Press Outdoor
5.1.2. Launch The Launch Event Beautybox
5.1.3. Post-Launch Press Mobile App

6. Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1. Conclusions
6.2. Recommendations



1. Introduction

According to Chevalier and Mazzalovo (2008) a luxury brand may be defined as “a selective and exclusive (…) (brand) that (…) is almost the only brand in its category, giving it the desirable attribute of being scarce, sophisticated and in good taste.” (p.vii)

As it is practically impossible to be the only supplier of certain product category in today’s globalised market place, this definition emphasises the importance of creating a unique position for the luxury brand that makes consumers perceive it as incomparable to potential competitors (Kapferer & Bastien, 2008).

With regards to portraying an image of superiority in terms of scarcity, sophistication and good taste, Kapferer and Bastien (2008) introduce the “Anti-Laws of Marketing” (see Appendix A) to be followed in luxury branding, which mainly aim at building and maintain the brand’s equity1 by evoking impressions of the brand’s offerings being highly exclusive and desirable.

By following the majority of these anti-laws, superpremium beauty brand La Prairie has managed to establish itself in a position that implies superiority to a point that it is considered the “Apple computer of the beauty world” (Tungate, 2011, p.138) across many international markets (La Prairie, 2012).

Taking into account the importance ascribed to a strong global presence by Chevalier and Mazzalovo (2008) in terms of the “radiance” aspect of brand equity (see Kapferer & Bastien, 2008), it seems curious that the brand has not yet launched in Sweden’s lifestyle and tourism hub Stockholm. The city boasts two high-end department stores (NK and Ahléns) which would be fitting locations for the brand’s store-in-store concept.

2. Terms of Reference

This report was produced by Charlotte Brodtkorb, Student of a Bachelor’s programme in International Events Management at European Business School London for assessment purposes within the module MGT 6B2 “Luxury Brand Management and International Events”.

It examines the possibility of introducing skincare by superpremium cosmetics brand La Prairie to the Swedish market by opening a counter in Stockholm’s luxury department store Ahléns and gives recommendations as to how the brand image may be adapted in marketing communications, and especially the brand launch event, in order to appeal to this new market.

3. La Prairie’s Marketing

3.1. The Luxury Brand Marketing Mix

In the context of luxury marketing, Arora (2012) suggests an 8P – Model, which is going to be applied to La Prairie in the following.

Table 1: Table 3.1.1.- The 8Ps of luxury branding and their application to the La Prairie brand

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

3.2. Brand Strategy

Examining the elements of the Luxury Brand Marketing Mix as employed by La Prairie more closely, five pillars of their brand strategy clearly emerge:

3.2.1. Global Presence

With reference to the Placement factor, Chevalier and Mazzavolo (2008) argue that being present globally is essential to maintain a sufficient level of sales in the long run for luxury brands, as the consumers will associate it with the brand’s level of strength. La Prairie has entered many diverse national markets all over the world, covering four continents (La Prairie, 2012), and with over 5000 points of sale worldwide, can be considered a global authority in superpremium cosmetics.

3.2.2. Exclusivity

The brand manages to position itself as extremely exclusive in terms of three Luxury Brand Marketing Mix variables:

- Pricing: Extremely high prices charged for most products
- Strategic combination of all three dimensions of Paucity (see table 3.1.1.)
- Placement: “Elitist” distribution strategy2

3.2.3. Brand Extensions

Within the Paucity factor, brand extensions are worth taking into account, as they are necessary “to develop a fully fledged business” (Chevalier & Mazzalovo, 2008, p.15) in the luxury sector. However, additions to the product portfolio are unlikely to be enthusiastically welcomed by customers, as some time has to be allowed for them to get used to the change in the brand’s positioning that this entails (Chevalier & Mazzalovo, 2008).

This cannot be observed at La Prairie, which has so far branched out into decorative cosmetics and fragrances (La Prairie, 2012). This maybe because both of these product categories are not all too far removed from skincare. Also, fragrances and make-up by La Prairie are not results of licensing, which is generally associated with brand dilution and considered a threat in terms of brand equity.

3.2.4. Forward integration of activities

In terms of Placement, as opposed to many other luxury cosmetics brands, La Prairie handle a big part of their own retail activity through their counters in upscale department stores, their website and branded spa areas in luxury hotels. In doing this, the brand does not only foster the exclusivity element of their products, but also takes control of the customer’s brand experience, which helps maintain the brand’s high profile with the target group (Tungate, 2011).

3.2.5. Leveraging PR to enhance brand image

La Prairie manages to associate themselves with the global elite as well as philanthropy by partnering with renowned charities such as the Albert of Monaco foundation for high-profile events, mainly with an environmental protection agenda. This strong focus on CSR and indirect form of salient ambassadorship adds to the brand’s credibility and integrity as perceived by the consumer.

Also, the brand chooses its ambassadors (Public Figures) wisely to enhance, but not distract from the products, as recommended by Kapferer and Bastien (2008).

Céline Cousteau, skincare ambassador for the Advanced Marine Biology line, is a good example for this, as her participation in initiatives revolving around marine biology seems completely unforced and she has many characteristics La Prairie’s core target group (see section 4.2.) would aspire to (see Appendix C).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Figure 4.1. – Development of the Swedish market for superpremium skincare, based on data from Euromonitor (2012)

4. The Swedish market for superpremium skincare

After the global recession of 2008/2009, the Swedish market for superpremium skincare has stabilised and is now expanding (Euromonitor, 2012). While the 11.6 m Euros it is currently worth may seem a small figure, it is substantial considering that Sweden only has 9.3 m inhabitants (SEMPORA Consulting, 2009).

Several external influences and trends (see Appendix D) lead to the outlook for the market being extremely positive, with the overarching superpremium beauty and personal care category forecast to grow by 30% until 2015 (Euromonitor, 2012). This means that superpremium skincare, which has contributed a steady 10% to this category over the years (Euromonitor, 2012), can be expected to see a similar extent of growth.

4.1. Positive external factors for La Prairie

4.1.1. Changing Attitudes

Three main trends in Swedish society are likely to influence the brand’s market entry positively:

- Growing concern among Swedes with their appearance (Euromonitor, 2012)
- Emerging preference for “organic” products with natural ingredients (Euromonitor, 2012)
- Growing acceptance of the consumption of luxury goods, which had earlier been stigmatised as being too extravagant (Cordeiro, 2008)

4.1.2. Tourism to Stockholm

While Sweden is not a prime holiday destination, Stockholm is an extremely popular destination for city breaks, with the number of international overnight steadily and substantially rising (Stockholm Visitors Board, 2011, see Appendix E). Main markets include Germany, the UK and Norway (Stockholm Visitors Board, 2011) - all countries with a fairly high GDP per capita and associated spending power (Eurostat, 2011). Also, the city attracts over 76.000 business event attendees a year (Stockholm Visitors Board, 2011).

The city’s appeal to affluent consumers is evident. Taking into account the general human tendency to engage in luxury purchase while travelling, La Prairie can expect returns over and above the value of the volumes Swedish nationals may purchase.

Furthermore, with reference to points raised in section 3.4.1., La Prairie’s absence in a fashionable international destination like Stockholm may impact negatively on brand value.

4.1.3. Ease in expansion to a European market

Seeing as La Prairie has already entered many European markets, and especially within the universal framework of liberal EU trade legislation, administrative efforts in expanding to Sweden are going to be minimal. Furthermore, the expansion of the brand to a first-world country known for fashion and design excellence and innovation is certain to entail no risk in terms of a decline in brand equity.

4.2. The Swedish core target

Although there is tremendous potential in the tourist audience, the local population is also worth taking into account.

With close to a million inhabitants, Stockholm is Sweden’s biggest city and also the place whose inhabitants on average have the highest disposable income nationwide at 17.700 Euro per capita (SEMPORA Consulting, 2009). This amount can be considered to allow for a reasonable amount of luxury consumption.

Given the nature of La Prairie’s Heart-of-Range products (see Appendix B), the market is going to be segmented by income and age.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Figure 4.2.1. – Market segmentation and target segment for La Prairie in Sweden

La Prairie’s target customer in Sweden is likely to resemble target consumers in other European markets, like the person shown in figure 4.2.1.


1 Brand equity consists of the distinctiveness of the brand’s personality, its origins (see table 3.1.1. for details on La Prairie) and the extent to which the brand manages to “radiate” beyond the target audience, as the experience of the luxury brand is often dependent on its recognition and attributes associated with it by non-consumers (Kapferer & Bastien, 2008).

2 Favouring growth in sales in existing distribution outlets over supplying distributors whose image might not be sufficiently high-end to fit the brand (CosmetiqueMag, 2009)

Excerpt out of 23 pages


Introducing Skincare by La Prairie to the Swedish Market
European Business School London / Regent's College
MGT6B2 - Luxury Brand Management and Interantional Events
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
luxury branding, brand management, la prairie, go-to-market, sweden, skincare, cosmetics, market introduction, product launch, event, superpremium
Quote paper
Charlotte Brodtkorb (Author), 2012, Introducing Skincare by La Prairie to the Swedish Market, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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