Milani Cosmetics: On target with millennials


Inspired by the art and culture of Milan, Italy, Milani Cosmetics embodies the style and essence of the city’s fashion and design heritage, with a high level of detail going into the formulation, packaging and shade of each individual product. But that’s only the beginning of the story.

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If ever a beauty brand resonated with the times, it’s Milani. In an age of increasing diversity and inclusivity, and a time when millennials and multicultural consumers have emerged as major buying forces, Milani is making the right moves.

“Milani is focused on continuing to work with retailer partners to serve the needs of the multicultural and millennial consumer. Cutting-edge analytics help direct engaging point-of-purchase displays, custom in-store events, digital marketing partnerships and event marketing that are designed to drive in-store traffic and market basket,” said Rhonda Baron, VP sales and business development.

And that approach is clicking on all cylinders. In the latest 52-week Nielsen period ended April 9, Milani’s sales growth rate is outpacing the category by more than three times, according to the company.

The product lineup offers hundreds of shades and high-tech, specialty store-level formulas that its audience demands — and all at an affordable pricepoint that appeals to this price-sensitive customer. Multicultural models help drive home its all-inclusive image, while celebrity clients and famous makeup artists give it credibility. As to the brand’s wide appeal, Milani delivers products that work on all skin tones. A strong social media presence allows the brand to speak directly to — and with — its consumers.

Milani has its ear tuned to the market — and that was a key reason the company was excited to participate in the DSN-Mack Elevation New General Market Forum. “Milani was excited to engage with key retailers at the recent New General Market Forum in New York City. We see a great opportunity to drive incremental sales in the mass cosmetic category via the millennial and multicultural consumer,” said Glenn McCloskey, VP sales. “We are committed to delivering fact-based merchandising solutions that significantly improve planogram productivity.”

To strengthen its positioning, Milani over the past year launched products with broad-based formulas that specifically target millennial and multicultural consumers. The brand also significantly boosted its digital marketing efforts and event marketing programs.

Millennials in particular rely on the opinions of friends and people they can trust, and Milani taps into this in different ways. Working with over 300 top social media beauty “influencers,” including such stars as @NikkieTutorials, the brand now reaches a combined network of more than 30 million beauty, fashion and lifestyle enthusiasts. Exposure on YouTube — over 105,000 videos featuring Milani products have been posted on the platform by beauty fans and key influencers — have made it a video star.

And that’s not all: In the branded and user-generated content that millennials value so highly, Milani has a total reach that exceeds 1 billion impressions. At the same time, the brand also racks up plenty of mentions in beauty editorial spreads, both in print and online, which help enhance its credibility.

In launching new products, Milani has a clear-cut goal: drive awareness, trial and demand. It utilizes a variety of methods, from content marketing (including filtering Instagram content to drive online sales) and social media to retailer relations and public relations. Thousands of products are distributed to its beauty influencer network to help build awareness and drive demand.

Key to its efforts is the brand’s “Beauty Identity Digital Campaign,” which focuses on celebrating individuality in a way that supports new product launches and the brand’s message of diversity. The campaign has a weekly theme that spotlights 12 different beauty looks or “identities,” pairing each “identity” with the new products needed to get each look. It uses the identities to give content for how the products can be used for different looks. It also has a tie-in to a social media contest — a popular feature that encourages the type of feedback and interaction with the brand that its target audience responds to.

On the event side, Milani offers consumers a unique experience via its participation in “Generation Beauty by ipsy.” The event brings together leading online beauty, fashion and lifestyle gurus, top beauty brands and devoted fans for a weekend of inspiration, networking and fun.

Generation Beauty attracts Milani’s sweet spot: 75% of the approximate 3,000 attendees at the 2015 Los Angeles event were between the ages of 18 and 34 years, and nearly all are socially active, particularly on Instagram and Facebook.