All the Sweetness of Ladurée Without the Calories

If you are fortunate enough to have tasted a macaron from Ladurée, then you are fortunate enough to know what heaven is like. Stopping yourself at just one of these light and sweet treats is unthinkable. A few of these may add up in calories, but there is one new treat you may not be aware of that will leave your conscience guilt free.­­­

So what do these delicious macarons…
…Marie Antoinette…
…and these roses have in common?

So what in the world do Marie Antoinette, roses, and the famous French macarons brand — Ladurée — all have in common?

Les Merveilleuses

Meet, Les Merveilleuses. A French cosmetic brand that is heavily inspired by these three symbols. Maybe not Marie Antoinette herself as much as the post-revolutionary Parisan women of the 18th century. The name “les merveilleuses” directly translates to “the marvelous.” Les Merveilleuses is inspired by young and beautiful “goddesses of liberty” who like to feel empowered by extraordinary cosmetics.

Ladurée launched Les Merveilleuses in 2012. The brand is ultra-feminine which is depicted via images of delicate roses, vintage cameos, elegant tea sets, the color gold and bold shades of pink. Where does the rose come in exactly? Well, their products are infused with rose extract. Oh and their blush is pressed powder in the shape of rose petals which is out of this world!

Rose petals. That are actually blush. Genius!
Especially created for women who enjoy being women, and who value something that enchants them not reasonably but intrinsically. Les Merveilleuses Ladurée proposes “unexpected” beauty beyond the ordinary
 concept of cosmetics to women who pursue new forms of beauty.”
— Les Merveilleuses

Why haven’t you heard of it before? Probably because it hasn’t made its way over to your corner of the globe quite yet. The French brand’s popularity has rapidly risen across Asia since it was launched in France. Another reason may be because they are severely lacking in any sort of brand official social media presence. Except for Instagram.

To learn more, I ventured over to my favorite social media platform — Instagram. I found not one, but several accounts for the cosmetics line. In addition to their global Instagram account, they also have a separate one for each country the brand is sold in. The global one, lm_ladurée, currently has the largest network at 64.1k followers. With so many followers you would think they must receive a lot of engagement from their customers, right? Wrong. Consumer engagement with the brand is actually quite low.

Their Instagram account is full of images of the products to the point of being almost overpopulated with photos of makeup cases. There are very few images that depict the lifestyle element of the brand. Each of their posts use this same method. A photo of their makeup, a “description” which consists of just the product name and shade, and some hashtags. There is no engaging element to these photos that encourages followers to interact with the brand.

I also noticed that on a few occasions, the brand even reposted the same photo over and over again with the same message. Not a great practice that can actually push followers away.

Notice a pattern?

Very few, if any of the followers actually comment on Les Merveilleuses’s photos. To make matters worse, I discovered that some users DO comment and receive NO RESPONSE from the brand!

A typical photo has between 1,000–2,000 likes and only a couple comments like the one shown above.

Poor @dmakeupblog is still waiting on a response to figure out where they can purchase their products. You would think the brand would respond to their consumers’ comments. Especially when a conversation could lead to a purchase. And especially when said consumer may also be a blogger whom others are influenced by.

Big Mistake. Big. Huge.

@dmakeupblog has probably made it over to their competitor, Jill Stuart Beauty, by now… I was able to find several cases where Jill Stuart responds to their customers, even if it’s just to say thank you for shopping with us. This kind of custom interaction is essential for luxury brand’s who are supposed to treat their clients with the best service possible. A little reply goes a long way.

The brand does a good job at engaging with their consumers in the comments section.

Jill Stuart Beauty is an Asian cosmetic brand who I think is probably Les Merveilleuses’s biggest competitor. They have a similar style and target market which is visible even from just comparing their Instagram pages which have similar tones.

Jill Stuart Beauty has significantly more followers at 179k than their competitor, but where is the real value? Is it qualitative or quantitative?

You can have as many followers as you desire, but the true value lies in the quality of the connection between the brand and the consumer. Bridging the gap between the luxury consumer and luxury brands via two-way communication helps to establish loyal customers and repeat purchases.

This is where Jill Stuart Beauty excels (in my opinion) and Les Merveilleuses has some room for improvement.

Now about those macarons…

Bet you can’t have just one…

This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

#lesmerveilleuses #ladurée #cosmetics #blush #rose #macarons #beauty #luxury #makeup #ncstateglm #luxemarketing