Never underestimate the power of a good cosmetic when it’s applied well. Young Joe Kennedy learned about his failure when he responded to the President’s State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 30. Having slathered himself with lip salve, the cameras picked up the gloss and reflected it back to the nation as drool. (Click) Poor Joe. Those bright lights show no mercy either to the young or the old, as most Hollywood actors know. But hope is on the way. L’Oréal, one of the world’s leading cosmetic companies, is looking for a few good men to make using cosmetics understandable.
Unlike most large businesses, L’Oréal’s problem is they are a female-centric. This occurs at a time when the market for men’s grooming products is expanding by more than 3% a year, worldwide. (“L’Oréal’s Problem With Men,” by Laura Colby, Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 11, 2017, pg. 19) Woman manage 58% of the company’s brands and hold two-thirds of the executive positions. Last year 77% of its new hires were women. That dominance thins out at the highest executive levels, but the opportunities for women remain impressive. What’s more, female employees have the opportunity to branch out into technical and engineering divisions with the company’s blessing.
The question for L’Oréal is how to get men to take the lipstick business seriously. They think the answer may be in marketing. Recruiting advertisements emphasize the company isn’t simply about makeup. It’s about research, development and tech opportunities. With new, flawless coverage like this, they hope to attract more male applicants. Few know as much about packaging as the cosmetic industry, so they’ll probably succeed.
Still, the question remains, who sold Joe Kennedy his lip gloss? Was it a man or a woman? I’m guessing it was a man. A woman would have shown him how to use the stuff.