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I have recently completed my Masters' from a very well renowned UK university with an overall Distinction in Business and Financial Management. This report is based on La€™Oreala€™s new product development strategy and the way they have successfully managed to achieve considerable market shares through consistent R&D efforts. Moreover, the company follows a three tier strategy for producing commercially viable products.
New product development is the most crucial stage for a company and it carries significant risk in the context of product failures that might occur right after their launch in the market. Product innovation is a complex task and it requires careful scrutiny by the company based on the above mentioned factors. Moreover, if any company fails to respond to new product introductions by competitors with appropriate speed, it will loose out on the desired market share due to late market penetration and eventually its profits will be dispelled (Kotler, 1988).
The front-line staff in an organization, like sales assistants, receptionists, etc., plays a major role here, as these are the ones that come in contact with the customers the most. La€™Oreal is a well established company in fashion business and in order to maintain its superior standing in the global market, it has to lay considerable emphasis on the strategies it employs for development of new products. The speed at which fashion markets change is very high, with very short product life cycles. The characteristics of the fashion industry require companies to make strategic choices about factors such as quality, speed, technology, price and flexibility: these factors define the positioning of a company (Abell, 1993). A proactive new product development strategy in the fashion industry can be the source of competitive advantage fro companies like La€™Oreal. Therefore, new product development is a critical and complex process that has a direct impact on the companya€™s prestige, which justifies the importance of such developments.
Moreover, successful new product developments are likely to earn La€™Oreal a superior market share and turnover thus increasing the value of the company. Therefore it can be suggested that in order for firm like La€™Oreal, operating in a volatile and turbulent fashion industry, to create a sustainable competitive advantage should have a fast new product development cycle. The R&D-marketing interface and its role in new product development is quite significant which has been studied by researchers for more than 20 years. In order to launch new products successfully, companies like La€™Oreal have to expend a great deal of time and energy in research and development. A number of studies have identified the main aspects of R&D and marketing cooperation in more successful firms (cf. A bulk buys advertisement of these products is required and this can only be done through a carefully selected marketing strategy that is in balance with R&D functions.
Research has considered the R&D-marketing interface as an information-processing sub-system of an organization. This is especially true for companies like La€™Oreal which continue to thrive on innovation because marketing and R&D depend on each other for necessary resources to perform their activities during the process of launching innovative products in the global market.
However, reality appears a bit complex because studies have shown that R&D and marketing tend to have different perceptions and interpretations of the characteristics of a new product, particularly in terms of its technical innovation and the extent to which it affects the established consumption patterns. Moreover, the need for long-term R&D always exists and the scientists need to be given some independence to design new formulas that are not unveiled unless desired.
The different views of R&D-marketing are influenced by their different personality, cultural background, time orientation, ambiguity, tolerance and level of detail of language used (Griffin and Hauser, 1996). According to a study conducted by Wang in 1997 the R&D and marketing functions were found to have collaborated in accomplishing tasks in three areas.
For La€™Oreal these three functions are an important consideration in the process of new product development without which innovations might involve a high degree of risk, resulting in product failures.
An important link also exists between the R&D-marketing interface and new product entry in the market which enhances the need for managing this interface efficiently. For instance, a strong mismatch between what is desired by customers and what is developed by La€™Oreal would reduce the companya€™s ability to predict market response to its new product.
It has been seen that most companies that spend great deal of time and effort on their R&D in order to come up with new ideas, have created such products that resulted in a technological break-through, captivating a huge market share. In case of La€™Oreal, the company has been spending a lot on its R&D department, (spending about 20% greater than its competitorsa€™). La€™Oreal employs 2500 chemists, biologists, pharmacists and the companya€™s R&D aims to deliver 2000 new ideas to its marketers in order to launch 2000 new products annually. The company not only analyzes the marketability of its new products but also tests its effectiveness through its careful R&D process. Product development costs rise greatly in later stages so the companies should go ahead only with those product ideas that would turn into profitable products once they are launched---this is the concept of Product development screening (Kotler & Armstrong). The aim of initial screen is not to drop out those projects that are perceived unsuccessful, but to allow as many projects as possible to move to the next stage of new product development.

Type I errors usually seem to occur where screening fails to detect projects that will ultimately be unsuccessful (Cooper, 1985). La€™Oreal in order to avoid these type I errors carefully scrutinizes the competitive products available all around the globe by surfing the web, viewing the worlda€™s press, thus, getting hold of thousands of new products emerging in global markets each year. However, La€™Oreal must also focus on Type II errors or the drop-errors that might occur if the company rejects ideas that would have been successful if allowed to continue. The emphasis should be on allowing potentially attractive ideas the chance to move on to the first stage of NPD (e.g. La€™Oreal takes on the new product development screening task during its a€?applied researcha€? phase when the company evaluates ideas generated from its own advanced research and whatever is being done externally (outside the company). La€™Oreal has tried to launch its products which are characterized by these thorough screening processes, and it has succeeded to a considerable extent.
After analyzing this case in great detail, both in terms of marketing literature and practical application, it can be inferred that global companies like La€™Oreal have to keep in line with the technological changes as they bring about marked product or process design transformations. According to Barton and Krause the need to respond quickly to the dynamic global market forces requires companies to integrate rapidly to the perceptions and needs of both product developers and potential consumers (Barton and Krause, 1985). All this needs to be synchronized with an effective marketing strategy that is in balance with R&D functions of the company, which eventually builds up new producta€™s image in the various targeted segments, hence, boosting the companya€™s prestige. As a marketing consultant I would like to base my recommendations on practical reality as well as thorough review of marketing literature.
The company should effectively reduce the time of its product development process so that development stages can be worked on by the management team simultaneously without hindering other on-going product development functions. Also with regard to the new product screening process, La€™Oreal must keep in view two basic factors during its initial product screening stages, as research suggestsa€“ compelling market size potential and lucrative potential market. Lucrative potential market suggests that projects exhibiting high ROI potential, high probability of commercial success, high market share, and sales growth potential are more likely to be accepted at this initial project review point in the new product process.
Therefore, if the market for a potential new product exhibits characteristics of financial viability (lucrative potential market) and overwhelming potential sales volume (compelling market size potential), then it is reasonable for La€™Oreal to develop the product further.
La€™Oreal should focus on customer input to identify universal and market-unique product features and design products that deliver the a€?desireda€? benefits at the a€?righta€? price.
La€™Oreal should therefore perform this task by carefully analyzing the market portfolios that include market rates and positions for new competitive products. The new product development stages are clearly linked, therefore La€™Oreala€™s management team, professional chemists, biologists, scientists should work in collaboration with each other at every stage of development. Here I give four examples of the commonly taught penetration, product development, market development, and diversification strategies. When marketers try to sell the existing product to the existing customers, they engage in penetration strategy. McDonald's introduced salads in their outlets in order to retain its existing customers, many of whom were becoming more health conscious.Salads are exactly opposite of what McDonald's is known for! Introducing an existing product in different markets is perhaps one of the most used strategies to extract full benefit of a successful product. When marketers introduce a totally new product to a completely new market, they engage in diversification. I have excellent research and analytical skills and have been writing high quality research papers on subject areas mentioned above.
The case continues with an insight into La€™Oreala€™s innovations that have been a success among the diverse segments of the global market.
The three structured strategy includes La€™Oreala€™s advanced research, applied research and product development, each stage having its own unique functions to perform in order to create successful innovations.
La€™Oreal as an international chain tries to achieve these targets through its consistent R&D innovations in order to create products that are marketable and have a significant turnover within various segments and sub-segments of the international market.
Organisations today are giving increasing importance to the front-line staff as the management realizes that excellence in service can be achieved only by means of having efficient and dedicated employees as their front-line staff. It should be noticed that firms that operate in the mass segment which targets fashion followers tend to imitate the high performing products of top brands like La€™Oreal and therefore the competitive advantage of top brands recedes over time, making product lifecycle short.
New product developments can be in the form of indication expansion, re-formulation and second-generation launch. Therefore La€™Oreal has to come up with such innovations that not only appeal to the various segments of the global market, but also enhance the companya€™s position once they penetrate the market.
Also, La€™Oreal has been a vanguard of fashion and in order to keep up with the expectations of its customers and consumers, the company has to lay in line new formulas that are carefully researched and tested for their effectiveness. Such is the importance of new product development for La€™Oreal because it tries to grab the maximum market share through the introduction of innovative products that are not only differentiated but also cater satisfaction to the different segments of the international market. Problems emerge where this interface is overlooked resulting in increased customer, market and technological uncertainty during new product developments (Moeneart and Souder, 1990). Once the concept for new product is developed through thorough research, La€™Oreal focuses on identifying its target market segments for effective market positioning followed by laying a much greater emphasis on differentiating its products from its competitors like Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
This would result in a reduced level of confidence on the effectiveness of marketing (Shankar, 1999). In contrast, when the difference is significant, then the firm should delay its entry (Bayus et al., forthcoming). It not only has to develop successful ideas, but also find a perfect marketing strategy that addresses the target markets for the new products, their positioning, sales, market share and profit goals at initial stages. The hope is that later, more detailed evaluation will eliminate those projects before they incur excessive development costs. Type I errors have also been referred to as go-errors which occur when the company allows a poor idea to move into development and commercialization (Kotler, 2003, p. La€™Oreal makes sure that in order to boost the excitement of its products among consumers it needs to evaluate the effectiveness of its new formulas and offer a clear benefit to the consumers in order to get it accepted by the masses.
However, during the screening process La€™Oreal also needs to make sure that its new product developments are consistent with the companya€™s objectives, that they are feasible in terms of product design and are suitable for the identified target markets. New product development is a complex task and companies like La€™Oreal should exert more control over internal and external factors affecting successful new product introductions and to accelerate product development and implementation.
Therefore, La€™Oreal should carefully review the changing attitudes of its potential customers or target segments in order to launch successful new products.
Thus, as suggested earlier for firms like La€™Oreal, operating in a volatile and turbulent fashion industry, to create a sustainable competitive advantage it should have a fast new product development cycle.

The second factor, compelling market size potential, represents the extent to which an organization cannot afford to ignore a market. The company should have a balance of, new, growing, and mature products capable of creating sustainable competitive advantage in the firma€™s efforts to expand geographically or add to existing market operations. It is further recommended that La€™Oreal should not get loose on the current fashion trends, and therefore launch new products that offer a a€?distincta€? benefit to the customers. Therefore La€™Oreal should be able to strengthen the R&D to marketing interface and also satisfy the requirements of both these areas individually. Just as requested the work is outstanding please pass on my thanks to the writer for an excellent job.
However, regulatory pressures, changing consumer behavior, and negative media coverage forced them to introduce more healthy choices on the menu. A very common example is entering different geographical areas nationally and internationally. At the same time I am very proficient in writing on subjects related to Marketing Management. The employees occupying the position, as front-line staff should not just be friendly to their customers but they should be masters in what they are doing to please customers. Nystrom as a€?nothing more or less than the prevailing style at any given timea€™ (Hines & Bruce, 2001). Consumera€™s preferences depend on the season, on the social and cultural environment and on the effects of previous marketing communication for fashion items or substitute products (Mintel, 2005). Given the high quality expected of its products and the short product life cycle prevailing in fashion, La€™Oreal has adopted a vertical integration, which afforded it a full control of quality and operations (Erica & Stefania, 2004). In this context, La€™Oreal would have to invest heavily in the launch of new products and be confident about the effectiveness, marketability and practicality of these products. If La€™Oreal launches a new product that cannot be marketed effectively, the R&D efforts would inevitably be marked as inefficient and useless. Therefore, in this context, a clear understanding of customer needs would be helpful in determining a companya€™s new product entry timing. This means that by effective management of R&D and marketing interfaces, firms can come up with better strategies both in terms of resource allocation and entry timing.
It therefore tries to maintain the a€?delicatea€? balance between creative R&D - marketing. La€™Oreal tries to provide its costumers with thousands of differentiated products each year, therefore, during its applied research process the company tries to lay a greater emphasis on the competitorsa€™ activities and their products for the purpose of product screening. It was this new product development screening process that resulted in the launch of Ambre Solaire childrena€™s sun lotion by La€™Oreal after three years of full research, thus, coming up with a formula that offered maximum protection to childrena€™s delicate skin that instilled the confidence of their parents in the new product. Therefore product screening is another important process that needs to be carried out by companies in order to have a closer look at competitive products and evaluate their own product demand and La€™Oreal seems to stand out in this regard as it employs professionals who carefully monitor competitorsa€™ products in great detail. This relates to mass markets, important categories to the trade, and geographically large markets. It should clearly focus on its long-term R&D efforts in order to introduce products such as Fructis that result in a technological break-through and capture the maximum market share. Therefore, R&D procedures should be dynamic so that La€™Oreal can deliver the market with the a€?desireda€? new product at the time they are a€?requireda€? by its customers. For example, by changing pricing, by adding minor features (new and improved!), changing the packaging (shampoo sachets), or highlighting alternative uses. With its launch Apple targeted a very large customer group, very different from its traditional smaller cult-like following. Being a Business and Finance graduate I clearly understand the academic requirements of students and have assisted many during their academic research. The global market is characterized by varying taste patterns of consumers that are influenced by their diverse cultures and preferences. Any negligence in this context would not only result in product failures once they are launched, but would also shatter the companya€™s image. In this commercial, we get to how Cadbury India is pushing for chocolates to be used as small gifts instead of more traditional sweets used during Diwali festival. In my opinion Apple's agreements with music labels gave them their unique positioning rather than the iPod hardware or iTunes. I am also working towards CIMA and CFA qualifications and looking forward to work with a top MNC as a Financial Analyst. Therefore in the face of rapidly changing consumer tastes, technology and competition, companies should continuously provide the global market with new products that satisfy all segments of the market. These characteristics of the fashion phenomenon had profound implications for the supply chain, the product life cycle and the complexity of the markets served by La€™Oreal and its competitions. Moreover, Crawford (1988) has also established that without new products, firms will certainly be at a stand still. Also the company launched a sun lotion exclusively for children, the Ambre Solaire Children's Sun Lotion, which took three years for its launch and development. Steve Jobs and his team put a tremendous effort in creating contracts with music labels and artists. This is a tedious task however, and requires systematic Research & Development by companies in order to create successful products that have a considerable market demand and appear attractive to the consumers worldwide. The research also highlights that initial or early entry of new products can result in new market development, long term market dominance, and foreclosure of competitorsa€™ responses.
In the case of La€™Oreal, the company has always tried to innovate new products through their R&D efforts keeping in view the taste patterns of various segments of the global market.
It needs to continue by having a clear focus of the technological innovations and fashion trends.
The case sites the example of La€™Oreala€™s Feria range that was exclusively innovated for Japanese people.

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