Understanding tomorrow’s mexican beauty products customer

How market research helped L’Oréal in Mexico to craft more effective marcomms strategies for the millennial generation.

Market research agency GfK and world leader brand L'Oreal


A quarter of Mexico’s population was born between 1981 and 1995. By 2025, this millennial generation will account for 75% of the country’s working population. Yet these young people are mistrustful of brand marketing. And many Mexican companies have yet to master the art of attracting and retaining them as customers.

Recognizing that they are the consumers of the future, L’Oréal wanted to learn more about millennials’ attitudes, beliefs, aspirations and behavior. It needed to understand how its communications and marketing strategies would need to evolve to meet the expectations of these digital natives.


In a five-stage research program, GfK targeted Mexicans aged between 18 and 25 years who are currently studying or both studying and working. To immerse itself in millennials’ lives and meet them on their own terms, GfK made heavy use of digital tools and technologies for the research. 


  • interacted with 72 respondents on the client’s Facebook page to get a flavor of their interests, likes and concerns / (it was a new and specific  profile created for the project called “Tessa Luca”) 
  • asked 16 millennials to write blog posts about health and beauty topics
  • hosted six focus groups with eight participants, as well as eight immersions
  • did an extensive desktop review of existing research about millennials in Mexico and the rest of the world

A psychologist facilitated the focus groups, while an anthropologist observed from behind a one-way mirror, giving expert insight into the participants’ words and behavior. GfK held the immersions in a digital media office, a house, at a concert, a park, a university, a football field and at a party. / (and a graffiti mural outside of a subway station)  

This offered a diverse, textured perspective on how the target audience navigates different settings, as well as an understanding of millennials with different interests and from varying backgrounds.

GfK shared the research results with the client’s teams at a ‘happening’ rather than a traditional corporate workshop. This engaging and interactive event painted a colorful portrait of young Mexico that remained in the audience’s mind. 

For example, GfK displayed music videos, interviews with the millennials, and beauty and fashion concepts on large screens in the venue. The audience could browse wall displays about millennials in Mexico and the rest of the world, and even play with a meme generator on an iPad. 

The event concluded with a catwalk parade of models representing different millennial nationalities, bringing the new generation of consumer to life for the audience.

So what?

The “happening” left L’Oréal’s teams with an enriched understanding of the millennial generation that will help them craft better strategies for this market segment. They have deep insights into a customer base that is rapidly growing in size, supported by videos, comics and other materials they can consult for more information. 

Some of actionable insights from the research included the following:

  • Marketing has to be person-centric for a generation that doesn’t believe in over-sold miracle products.
  • Young Mexicans don’t blindly follow celebrity endorsements because they know nobody is perfect. However, millennials respect social media personalities - such as beauty and personal care video bloggers - as they have grown up in the digital era and feel closer to digital personalities.
  • Communication needs to be quick and direct to address an audience with a roving attention span. It should leverage social channels such as Twitter, Vine and Instagram.
  • Millennials look for the human touch. They favour brands that have a well-defined personality.
  • They look to brands to be socially and environmentally responsible, and see them as vehicles for doing good in the world.
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