MarketLine Blog

Inglot refuses to play by the rules and wins a share of global make-up market

Founded over 30 years ago, in the small Polish town of Przemysl, Inglot Cosmetics started as a chemical manufacturer, producing cleaning fluid for cassette players and cheap eye shadows. Within only a few years, taking advantage of the changing political situation in the country, the company became a large cosmetics manufacturer with a presence at all major beauty gatherings and events around the globe, from the runways of Fashion Week to the stages and sets of TV and Broadway musicals.

As examined in the MarketLine Case Study ‘Inglot Cosmetics – How a small firm with vision successfully challenged established business rules‘ an impressive range of colors and a wide variety of products is something that makes Inglot stand out from the crowd of international competitors. The jewel in the company’s crown is its famous Freedom System, which allows customers to assemble custom designed cosmetics palettes, with over 3 billion possible combinations of colors.

Unlike many of its competitors, Inglot has famously spent almost nothing on advertising, relying chiefly on word-of-mouth marketing and firmly believing that its concept, based on high quality offered at a fair price, will speak for itself. This strategy has paid dividends, making Inglot one of the most successful Polish brands on a global scale.

Inglot’s expansion strategy, challenging established business rules, relies solely on a franchise model and its products are sold exclusively in own-brand retail outlets in shopping malls. At present, about 40% of Inglot’s revenues come from export, which makes the company a record-setter among Polish firms selling abroad.

In 2012, Inglot’s breathable nail polish formula, called O2M, became a surprise hit with Muslim women, allowing the company to tap into a new, lucrative and rapidly growing market. At a time when many Western cosmetics markets are reaching their saturation point, Muslim consumers are becoming a target audience, and halal cosmetics are emerging as one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world.

What are the business opportunities in the global make-up market? How did Inglot evolve from a company known for selling cheap, powdery eye shadow trios in Polish supermarkets to one of the most internationally recognizable Polish consumer brands? How challenging long-established business rules may prove successful in a mature market?

To find out more, read in Market Line case study “Inglot Cosmetics – How a small firm with vision successfully challenged established business rules“.

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