History & Marketing Strategies of Lakme Brand

Company Name – Lakme
Founders – Simone Tata and J. R. D Tata

Lakme is an Indian cosmetics brand, currently owned by Hindustan Unilever. It was a subsidiary of its parent company Tomco (Tata Oil Mills) but in 1996, the ownership changed its hands to Hindustan Unilever. Today, it is ranked as the number one company among all the cosmetics brands in India.


How It All Stated

There is a very interesting story on how Lakme started. Apparently, in 1952, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru personally invited JRD Tata to manufacture beauty products in India. He was concerned that women in India were spending a lot of money on beauty products.

Thus, Lakme started as a 100% subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills. The name of the company is derived after the French Opera Lakme, which is the French form of Lakshmi, who is known for her good looks and beauty.


As mentioned, it started in 1952. Simone Tata previously joined the company as the director and after that she became the chairperson of the company. In 1996, Tata sold off their stakes in Lakme to Hindustan Unilever Limited also known as HUL for Rs 200 Crore.


Lakme’s Marketing Strategy and Interesting Reasons behind Its Success


The vast range of products and services helps Lakme to occupy a major share in the domestic market. Nearly about three hundred items of Lakme brand are got used by professional hair artists in salons as well as individuals both in the domestic and international market.

Product folio of Lakme includes the items for Face, Eyes, lips, nails, tools and brushes and make-up kit. 



Lakme is the first brand in India, which is dealing with cosmetics on a large scale and leaved its footprint towards every corner of the country. It has vast distribution channel that includes twelve hundred sales outlets with beauty advisors. Now it has set up 110 beauty salons all over in India.

The products are easily available to customers through services of distributors, stockiest and retailers. Besides its outlet’s, the products are also available at hypermarkets, supermarkets, discount stores, convenient stores and beauty shops.



In India, most people think twice before spending their money on anything. Lakme is the most favourable brand among female population. The pricing strategy of the company approaches its customers.

The company want to reach as many customers as possible by penetrating both urban and rural market and for this reason it has adopted a reasonable pricing policy because it wants to reach masses. It realises that pocket friendly and affordable rates will result in large volumes and eventually will lead to better profits.



It has adopted an aggressive marketing plan to promote its product to every nook and corner. The ad campaigns are advertised through televisions, newspaper, radio, billboards, fashion magazines and social media platforms like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It believes in star power and so it hired many special faces or celebrities for promoting its product via campaigns.

It is the title sponsor of a fashion show titled Lakme Fashion Week. The company has set up the training through Lakme Beauty Training Academy in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, which will assist interested people after participating in fashion week.


Lakme Campaign

Lakme India is a common household makeup brand in India that made girls relishes their loved one through the “Colours of Love” contest, based on a Valentine Day special. The new lipstick range, Enrich Satin was the centre of attention. The 70 available shades of lipstick attracted the population, which encourages the sale of product.

The Facebook page of official Lakme India – ‘I Love Lakme’, launched the contest and asked their fans “Whats the colour of your Love?” The main motive of conducting the contest is to give access to every woman a glimpse of the product. It was a good medium to spread the range of lipstick shades and fans really get attracted to the product and liked it so much.

The concept of television campaign created by O&M, which is produced and directed by Vinod P Vijay of Red Ice. The Executive Creative Director, Sumanto Chattopadhyay said that Lakme wished to communicate its sun care expertise, as embodied in its state of the art product Lakme Sunscreen Matte Effect, which is in the line with its ‘Sun Safe Hamesha’ platform. The TVC depicts a world where women hide behind mask to avoid the harmful effect of sun.

The concept of this product of Lakme targets every skin types of urban woman who not only wants to look confident, but also make herself comfortable on facing the sun without fear of it harmful effects

Lakme created a Lakme Makeup Pro on March 2015. This app host one-on-one experiences with its consumers in which they can try different looks using augmented reality and able to attain their undivided attention. The app was designed in such a way that it can target urban and semi urban women between the ages of 16 and 34. Currently the app reaches 650, 000 downloads and has been logged in four million times by the users.

Since the Indian market place had no real-time makeup app, Makeup Pro gave Lakme a first-mover advantage over its competitors. The apps users can enjoy a seamless shopping experience, by purchasing from this app. 

Apart from TVC, Lakme is also using the print medium and in-store promotional activities for the campaign.  Having Kareena Kapoor and Ananya Kapoor as the brand ambassador, it helps to increase the selling of the product. The other Indian Film Star Shraddha Kapoor and Katrina Kaif along with popular model Lisa Haydon have also acted in its commercial campaigns.


Lakme has not trimmed its products for Indian market instead of this its products are easily obtained in nearly seventy global countries. It is associated with FMCG industry and deals in personal care products. Even with its extensive range and retail presence, it has given a tough challenge to the other companies.

They are able to hold the customer’s attention in a multi brand retail or e-tail space, which is increasing the expectations of the users. Lakme Fashion Week, India’s premier fashion event is being conducted with the biggest stars, models, designers, hairstylists and makeup artists in attendance. 

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