a) Based on the information provided in the L’Oreal case, Yue Sai struggled to grow and capture additional sales in the high-end Chinese cosmetics sector. In the past, L’Oreal attempted to position Yue Sai in several different ways which can be viewed as detrimental to the company image, showing uncertainty as the company struggles to see which positioning strategy will stick. The most recent positioning presented in the case, which desires to “deliver Yue Sai’s longstanding brand promise that ‘Nobody knows Chinese skin better than Yue Sai’”, allows the highest probability of success for the company capitalizing on countless fresh trends in Chinese cosmetics (6). The positioning statement would reflect this new strategy: “For the modern Chinese woman Yue Sai offers a line of high-end cosmetics. Unlike other high-end cosmetics Yue Sai combines traditional Chinese medicine and sophisticated technology adapted to the unique skin type of Chinese women.” Yue Sai saw reasonable success and hope in the new Vital Essential line which utilized traditional Chinese medicine and, therefore, resulted in above average repeat purchases. Continuing to focus the strategy around traditional Chinese medicine should benefit Yue Sai considerably. Another suggested strategy would be to wholly reposition Yue Sai, however this is ill advised. As stated in the case, Yue Sai tried numerous different positioning strategies, which ultimately provided no clear path strategy. Repositioning would show uncertainty in the company, lowering brand value in the eyes of the consumer.
b) Three issues that may arise from differences in Western and Eastern marketing are: cultural, aesthetics, and media platforms. Culturally, Eastern views on cosmetics are different from Western views. As stated in the case, the culture of cosmetics in China was virtually non-existent, “generations of Chinese women grew up without ever learning about cosmetics from their mothers” (2). In the West, cosmetics were symbolic of heritage and prestige, knowledge passed on from their mothers. In China, however, there was no earlier knowledge of cosmetics. Most Chinese, however, value knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine holds strong cultural roots; most Chinese strongly believe it could cause no harm, especially in a time where natural ingredients were sought after because of increasing air pollutants. Our positioning strategy specifically targets the culture of the East understanding that it differs from the West; traditional Chinese medicine has and will always be a staple of Chinese culture.
Aesthetically the West and East approach cosmetics quite differently. In the West tan skin is viewed as the ultimate goal of applying cosmetics. Tan skin is the aesthetic ideal in the United States; however, this is not the case for Eastern countries. As evident in Yue Sai’s whitening line, presented in exhibit 17, tan skin is not the ideal, however, fair...