When Lush first opened its doors in 1995, it was a pioneer in the cosmetics industry. With its ethical, fresh and handmade philosophy, the brand quickly garnered a loyal following and expanded its footprint around the world. Since then, sustainable and ethical stances have been adopted by the majority of Australian and global beauty brands — requiring Lush to review its strategic positioning to remain relevant in the future.
Recognising this shift, Lush engaged Sharley Consulting to review its brand performance and value in Australia and New Zealand. The company wanted to understand how the brand benchmarked against the competition, and how it was perceived by customers and retail partners.
To lay the foundation for future growth, it was important to first determine how Lush was performing in the market. Sharley Consulting launched a 360-degree brand research program that encompassed internal and external perspectives, in order to understand Lush’s perceived positioning and identify gaps and opportunities in the current brand approach.
To first understand this from Lush’s perspective, Sharley Consulting engaged with Lush employees in Australia and New Zealand, visited a selection of Lush stores, and conducted surveys and in-depth interviews. Research was also conducted with Lush’s customers to reveal brand perceptions, purchase motivators, opportunities and challenges; whilst external market research captured the brand’s awareness and perception levels and uncovered preference drivers amongst Lush’s target audience. At the same time, Sharley Consulting analysed the brand’s share of search and share of voice online, as well as consumer sentiment across review and social platforms.
Research insights were presented and discussed with the leadership team in a brand workshop to identify initiatives needed for immediate and longer-term brand and revenue growth. During this session, Sharley Consulting also facilitated open discussion around who Lush is and where the opportunities lie, to help guide the future brand positioning and communications strategies across Australia and New Zealand.
Equipped with a stronger understanding of brand drivers and purchase motivators, Sharley Consulting worked closely with the Lush team to develop a brand roadmap to increase awareness, preference, and growth. With a clear outline of strategic and tactical priorities, the Lush team gained clarity in direction for the brand narrative, campaign and content ideation — all in order to move the brand forward and improve commercial value.