How Instagram is Changing the Cosmetic Market: A Study of L’Oréal’s Marketing Practises in a New Digital Context

Camilla Jørgensen & Kristine Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The overall research objective of this project is to study how the social media platform Instagram is used by the cosmetic market and young women. This to uncover whether the cosmetic brand L’Oréal’s current use of the platform is being challenged by new players within this digital setting. The research area seems unexplored in academic literature, suggesting a research gap. The research objective is defined by two subsequent research questions, which are essential to outline a relevant theoretical framework, serving as a foundation for the analysis.
The research has been conducted with abductive research design, exploring the current cosmetic market in relation to the use of Instagram. By applying a company’s perceptive to the use of Instagram, the research attempts to provide theoretical and managerial implications of how Instagram can effectively be used by L’Oréal in order to stay relevant on Instagram compared to new players within this digital setting.
The essentials to the empirical investigation are the data collections of primary data. Firstly, Instagram text from the cosmetic market is gathered to uncover their communication on the platform. Secondly, seven semi-structured interviews with young women are conducted. Based on the gathered data, the problem statement and research questions are answered.
The findings of this project show how the cosmetic market communicate on Instagram and how the communication differs across the market. Furthermore, the findings show how young women perceive the use of Instagram, cosmetics and the communication of the cosmetic market. Specifically, the communication from L’Oréal is negatively perceived, resulting in a strategic discussion and managerial implications of L’Oréal’s use of Instagram.
Many research gaps are yet still undefined, and future research is needed to reveal them within the complex research area of Instagram and the cosmetic market.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages307
SupervisorsKarin Tollin