MAC Cosmetics was first established in the year 1984 by a beautician Frank Toskan and a salon owner Frank Angelo. The makeup artistes till then were struggling to find an alternative for makeup which could hold against the glare of photography lights.
This led to the creation of a new brand of makeup MAC which was primarily catering to professional models who walked the ramp. The cosmetics company was taken over by the beauty conglomerate Estee Lauder following which it became a brand for all types of customers and MAC was made available in around 1500 locations across 80 countries.
With a wide range of cosmetics for face, eyes, cheekbones, eyebrows, lips etc. , the brand is also popular for its range of mineral-based makeup. The brand was positioned for the woman but since it has a lot of vibrant colors and hues it also became popular amongst the younger generation.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of MAC Cosmetics
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of MAC Cosmetics :
- Association with the fashion business: The cosmetics major MAC was initially made for professional models where they could withstand the strong lights and glare of the ramp. Their first set of customers who were either models, stylists, professional makeup artists, photographers etc. introduced the brand to key influencers of the fashion world like designers and editors of popular fashion magazines.
- Employees: The employees of makeup are selected with a lot of attention to detail. The employees are primarily makeup artists or professionals who have had the direct or indirect connection and experience in the makeup industry. Which makes them not just experts in the domain but also prospective customers or influencers.
- The wide range of Products: MAC Cosmetics offer a wide range of cosmetics such as lipsticks, blush, rouge, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, concealers, eyeshadow etc. They also have mineral-based makeup in each of these categories and most of their makeup is available in lotion as well as powder forms.
- Makeup for multiple segments: MAC is true to its slogan ‘All ages. All races. All sexes’ wherein it makes makeup catering to a number of different segments. Though MAC was meant for women, the vibrant colors and bright hues made the brand appealing to a younger audience. MAC does research on all its products to ensure that they are suitable for all types of skin and thus makes the cosmetics suitable for women of all racial groups, ethnicities, and cultures as well as even men.
- Unique Lipsticks: MAC cosmetics are well known for their lipsticks which have been characteristically designed exclusively for the brand. Some of the unique features include the bullet shape and the texture. The packaging of all MAC cosmetics in signature black cases is also a characteristic feature of the brand.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of MAC Cosmetics
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of MAC Cosmetics are:
- Pricing: MAC cosmetics are priced at a premium and only people from a higher income group can afford to purchase their makeup. The brand can be afforded only a select audience and thus the brand has to rely on value sale.
- Suitable for Caucasian skin tones: MAC Cosmetics are based on research done on Caucasians. The cosmetics are more suitable for white skin and less suited for dusky skin tones. This the cosmetics are not very popular in Asia.
- Inability to adapt to new demands: The MAC Cosmetics are finding it difficult to adapt to changing market demands. The cosmetics sector is filled with a; a large number of players and the market is highly fragmented. The inability to match up to changing demands is affecting the market position of MAC.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of MAC Cosmetics
Opportunities refer to those avenues in the environment that surrounds the business on which it can capitalize to increase its returns. Some of the opportunities include:
- Change in customer behavior: Among the millennial generation, the number of women who use makeup on a regular basis has increased. With the growth of online shopping people is willing to experiment with new looks and invest heavily in branded cosmetics. This is a huge opportunity for beauty companies.
- Regional orientation: In many of the emerging economies like India or China the makeup is related to traditional occasions which means that the regional orientation is crucial. If MAC can think in terms of each region the opportunities will scale up for the business.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of MAC Cosmetics
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Competition: The main competitors of MAC are Sephora, Clinique, Maybelline, and L’Oreal.
- Organic makeup: More and more customers are concerned about the health risks in the usage of makeup with chemicals in them. This is affecting the sale of cosmetics brands in general.