How Beauty Brand Clinique Competes for Millennial Market

Whether you’ve used Clinique’s 3-Step System or can recognise its familiar pale yellow Dramatically Different Moisturiser, there’s a good chance you may have had some exposure to the Clinique brand.

It’s a time of major retail transformation, thanks to the influx of millennial consumers and beauty shoppers who flock to e-Commerce and online retailers like Sephora and Mecca, over the once traditional beauty department counters at Myer and DJ’s when mums would take their daughters, once upon a time.

Australian millennials aged 25 to 34 are driving online shopping, according to a global online shopping study released today by Pitney Bowes. Today’s millennials have more buying power than ever before, and they favour niche brands and products. This has presented a challenge for Clinique, with its minimalistic ethos and understated packaging. How did Clinique go about competing for millennial attention in today’s wonderful world of e-Commerce?

Launched in 1968, it’s interesting to see how has the brand has not only remained iconic, but relevant in today’s beauty culture. To appeal to younger consumers, Clinique has employed a few smart strategies, including joining forces with multichannel beauty retailer Sephora.

The brand has introduced its Prep Start  skincare line exclusively at Sephora and on; the products are packaged in bright and bold fuchsia, turquoise and canary colours to attract a younger demographic and compete with Sephora’s other more vibrant niche brands.

clinique sephora

A step away from traditional print ads, Clinique has also experimented with tactics like Instagram sweepstakes lately, which got over 400,000 impressions, and streamed events on Snapchat which had further millennial reach.

Clinique also recently tapped the shoulders of millennial influencers Tavi Gevinson and DJ Hannah Bronfman for their web and social campaigns on Twitter and Instagram. These influential young women share their beauty advice, and encourage others to do the same using the #FaceForward hashtag.


To kick off its new Pop Lip collection, Clinique teed up with Wieden + Kennedy to create an interactive music video featuring Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson. The YouTube video has proved popular among millennials, generating over 500 million YouTube views and over 1.1 million hashtag mentions.


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