If you don’t Instagram your contour, is it really on fleek?

Taking a look at how the French macaron has a pretty little secret.

Recently, my only involvement in the cosmetic industry has been watching funny makeup tutorial videos on the Internet that have been shared by my Facebook friends (watch my current favorite here.) However, my involvement in the macaroon industry has been exercised deeply. With local bakeries, specifically lucette grace, jumping on the trend of the French macaron, my research has been easy and quite delicious. Luckily for me in the coming months, Paris is riddled with patisseries that are riddled with French macarons and I am riddled with excitement.

Ladurée was founded in Paris, France in 1862 where the original idea for the shop was strictly a bakery. Not until 1872 after a fire in the bakery did Ladurée begin to market as a pastry shop, dealing in sweet pastries and High Tea versus fresh breads for the home. Louis Ernest Ladurée entrusted the rebranding efforts to a famous painter and poster artist, Jules Cheret (via Ladurée.) Ladurée being ahead of their time in recognizing women’s needs, sought to expand the brand through other avenues where women held purchasing power. In 2012, having their 18th century version of a modern woman in mind, expansion into makeup inspired by their beautiful pastries that resembled the adventurously pigmented colors that women began to wear during the time period (via Les Merveilleuses.)

When it comes to media created by the folks at Ladurée for Les Merveilleuses, their Instagram is, as expected, heavy with photos and a few videos of their products. Pressed powders in decorative containers for cheeks, deeply pigmented lipsticks packaged in pastel pink tubes for lips, and foundation makeup inside ornate spherical canisters with their signature metallic heart are all displayed beautifully over the 485 posts. From post to post, there is an obvious color scheme that matches the products overall brand color scheme, as well.

All that glitters is not gold and in Les Merveilleuses’ case, their fan engagement with the brand is low in comparison to the amount of prospects that have followed the account. Averaging only 1936 likes and 3.33 comments with 64.1k followers is low (@lm_laduree). In regards to other social media platforms for brands with similar products, there are fewer posts where the consumer can see the product being used by other consumers, instead the majority of content is staged photos of the cosmetics. In addition, the posts are consistently posted in Japanese, which many consumers around the world cannot read. After further investigation (talking to a group member who happens to be from China) this makes complete sense, as the Les Merveilleuses brand is available predominately in Asia and also in limited Sephora locations in France.

Obviously, there is room for improvement when it comes to social media utilization, as well as globalization. Having been created and launched in 2012, Les Merveilleuses is doing quite well for only being exposed in two markets, one of which is limited. With the co-branding opportunities of a larger and better-known counterpart, when the time is right, exposure will be simple. Ladurée has gained popularity through three “houses” located in Paris, France (the OG), New York City, and Miami. In the meantime, Les Merveilleuses purchases will either have to be made online through Asian vendors or directly in Les Merveilleuses storefronts in Asia. As for the rest of us who maybe still don’t have a huge interest in makeup, I assume that the purchase of French macarons is equally as satisfying.

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