Tuesday, October 27, 2009

L'Oreal "Century Of Beauty"

As L’Oreal marks its centennial lets take a look at one of the beauty industry’s biggest success story. At the beginning of the 20th century Eugene Schueuler, a young French Chemist, created the first synthetic hair dye and registered it as Black and Gold. He later changed the name to L’Aureale meaning golden crown, a name inspired by a hair style fashion at the time. Shortly after the company name is changed to L’Oreal, which has its roots in the Greek word “orea” which means beauty…thus L’Oreal was born.

It’s been said that beauty is universal and that the quest for innovation is limitless. In 1909 working from his two bed room apartment Schueuler manufactures products at night, sells them to Parisian hairdressers in the morning and makes deliveries in the afternoon. Several years later he gains the much needed backing of an accountant, enabling him to advertise his products via the trade journey “La Coiffure de Paris” and by 1920 is exporting his hair colorant throughout Europe and over time to every point on the globe.

As fashions change, women begin cutting their hair short, requiring shaping and coloring products and L’Oreal responds by creating “Imedia Liquide” the first commercial liquid hair color. Seeing a hugh potential for hygiene and toiletry products L’Oreal launched “Belle Color”, the first mass market shampoo colorant and “Oreol” a cold wave lotion. By the mid 20th century hair color had become hugely popular signaling the start of a world wide hair color culture. To address the demand L’Oreal introduces Preference the first premium priced mass market hair color line and the advertising campaign “Because I’m Worth It”.

To expand its reach into every corner of the personal care market, over the next fifty years and into the 21st century L’Oreal went on to acquire leading beauty companies, Lancome, Garnier, Maybelline and several American professional hair care brands (Redken, Matrix, Kiehl’s, ARTic and PureOlogy). With 23 global brands in 2003, L’Oréal announced its 19th consecutive year of double-digit growth. It has operations in over 130 countries, employing 50,000 people and operates 42 manufacturing plants throughout the world. Over the past 100 years, L’Oreal has worked diligently to meet the aspirations of different cultures around the world, which has broadened the concept of beauty and made the company what it is today. Its obsession with quality and a passion for innovation are two trademarks that continue to make L’Oreal a world class 21st century beauty company.