Beauty branding excellence: Le Labo

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Le Labo was an indie beauty brand founded in 2006. Initially a perfume business, it quickly grew a cult-like fan base and now offers a full range of sprays, gels, lotions, soaps and candles.

But it’s indie status changed as of 4th quarter 2014, when it was acquired by Estee Lauder. Built on a brand foundation of craftsmanship and personalization, it will be interesting to see if this spirit remains. So far, after checking out their website, all seems to be intact. A win-win all around for Le Labo, its customers and its new parent.

As a brand strategy and activation company, we’re pretty tuned into the fact that every experience that a person has with a brand, every touchpoint that either aligns or fails to align with customer expectations, affects the ability of that brand to shift demand. Which is, after all, the ultimate goal of any brand.

Success requires a precise playbook. An orchestration of components that grow interest and loyalty and propel a brand (its consumers, and the business) forward. At Trajectory, we believe the playbook consists of eleven components working together to maintain a brand’s ability to drive business today, and into the future.

Here are just six of those eleven characteristics. But they’re enough to convey why we’re also big fans of Le Labo:

1. Declaration. Le Labo has an aspirational and authentic purpose beyond what it simply does for people. Their manifesto is the centerpiece of their story. And its presentation reinforces its ideas.

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2. Differentiation. The brand stands out from competition in a way that really matters to its consumers. While it might not be for everybody, its ideas, its products, its craftsmanship, its personalization and its soulfulness are precious to those who matter most.

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Le Labo also provides a respite from our multi-tasking, multi-searching, technologically-driven world. The brand gives us a chance to breath. It provides a sense of comfort and escapism, and the ability to rediscover processes once forgotten or devalued in an age of shiny new objects.

3. Know-How: The brand provides proof that it is a credible expert within its category. No shallow promises here. Le Labo’s Community Of Craft, among other proof points, reinforces their craftsmanlike product approach.

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4. Alignment: touchpoints deliver a consistent look, message and emotion that contribute to building brand meaning. Across their website, their social channels and their retail presence, there’s a specialness and attention to “craftsmanlike” detail that consistently adds to building Le Labo distinctiveness and brand equity.

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5. Emotional Pull: the brand taps into emotions and creates an instinctive attraction that goes beyond rational needs. Le Labo is all at once about mind, senses and heart. It oozes emotion, appealing to our fast, frugal ‘System 1’ brain that drives much of our daily decision-making through emotion and intuition. Case in point, rather than describe their perfumes, they provide a Visual Study to create a system of images that offer a visual representation of their fragrances.

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6. Dynamism: the brand is constantly moving and evolving to surprise and delight (and remain relevant to) its audiences. Two examples include its expansive product range…

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And the brand’s desire to meet the personalized needs of its customers…

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In our playbook, Le Labo hits a home run. And we can only hope that they continue to grow and thrive the Le Labo way.