Rimmel was coming under increasing pressure from competitors and losing its market share. Ad spend was down and share of voice was at only 60% of the nearest competitor. Given product innovation is pretty standard across the big make-up brands, the only differentiating factor left to Rimmel was to foster brand loyalty. Applying make-up is an intimate act and building trust between brand and consumer is paramount.
Girls have an insatiable thirst for tips and advice when it comes to make-up. Focus group research and interviews with leading editors of girl's magazines revealed that despite this appetite for makeup knowledge, many young girls don't feel confident about applying make-up.
In the UK, 95% of young girls own a mobile phone. They are in constant communication with their friends, with 77% of girls sending at least one SMS message to one of their friends every day. As a component of a young woman's bag, the mobile is as important as her purse or lipstick. Rimmel's idea was to turn a girl's mobile into her makeup mate: a knowledgeable friend always on hand to inspire and give great practical advice on how to make great looks happen for them.
Specifically designed for mobile, the Rimmel hub housed a wealth of information on how to achieve a look, what products to use, tips and advice and specific Rimmel content. This would be a tool young women could use at any time, wherever they were. The hub was regularly updated with new product information and videos. The videos featured celebrity looks and were demonstrated by resident celebrity make-up artist Liz Pugh. Users could text in their questions, which Liz answered for them. Extra features on the hub included branded wallpapers, sample requests, videos of the ads, and product info.
Apple apps might dominate the category but being a youth brand, Rimmel specifically targeted the cheaper, more ubiquitous handsets, used by its market. Nearly half of Rimmel's market were on pay as you go, rather than monthly tariffs, which made downloading expensive. Free-to-download blue tooth technology in malls and cinemas solved this issue.
Of all the girls who came to the site over 40% downloaded a piece of content. In total there were 145,000 downloads. More important to Rimmel is the creation of a new generation of brand evangelists who now intimately trust the brand.