L’Oreal is a beauty company—a very visual brand with a heavy female demographic. This would make them a prime candidate for brand expansion via Pinterest, right?
Maybe not. Rachel Weiss, L’Oreal’s vp of digital strategy and marketing, recently told Business Insider that she had all but stopped using the white-hot social “pinning” service and re-focused her branding efforts on Facebook because she “got bored” with Pinterest. As evidence: this L’Oreal page definitely feels a little neglected.
Interestingly, Weiss emphasizes a shift in her company’s strategy from product-centric to brand-centric. Rather than promoting specific products, she says, L’Oreal wants to ensure that its brand is there at every potential touchpoint to guide the consumer—in the retail location, in the salon, online, or on mobile.
She claims that Pinterest is not ready to help facilitate this sort of branding strategy. Essentially, she argues that Pinterest is not yet as business-friendly as Facebook and says that L’Oreal is “waiting to see what Pinterest comes out [with] as a platform for brands”. She’s not sure exactly when this will happen but thinks that the service’s managers will have to “move into brand play” in order to expand its influence.
A key branding point for L’Oreal is that the company sponsors but does not own the individual salon locations in which its products are most commonly used. This fact has made Facebook check-in a more valuable platform than Pinterest or foursquare.
Interestingly, Weiss says that she is currently more interested a somewhat traditional branding channel: text messaging. She notes that financial companies have had considerable success with direct texts and that she wants “to see how that works in beauty.”
What do we think, PR pros? Are you, like Ms. Weiss, waiting for the moment that Pinterest decides to aggressively court brands? Are you already experimenting on your own?