German cosmetics company Artdeco is aggressively looking to strengthen its position in the Indian market with the launch of two new make-up and nail colour brands - Anny and Makeup Factory. The company already has BeYu and Malu Wilz brands in India in partnership with Kaunis Marketing Services.
“Each of the four brands that we have brought in from the Artdeco group has a different positioning in the market. BeYu is at the massy segment, Anny is an exclusive premium nail colour cum nail care brand, Makeup Factory in in the luxury, premium segment and it has been placed directly against M.A.C and Malu Wilz is our premium skincare brand. All these four brands have a different offering to the consumer and we thought it was important for us to bring in the best of products at various price points so that we can cater to the Indian women and her needs,” said Ajay Ghooli, Managing Director, Kaunis.
Artdeco has earmarked between 40-50% of their revenues as advertising and activation budget for Anny and Makeup Factory. Circus Elephant is the agency behind the brand’s digital marketing and Hats On is the agency that is working behind the brand’s TVCs.
Speaking about their media mix and marketing strategy for Anny and Makeup Factory, Ghooli said, “What we have focused on is going to our target audience, which is predominantly present on the digital space. All our activations have been very active on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. We have been very successful on the digital platform but we have not let print go by. We have constantly been present on Cosmopolitan, Femina and Gruhashodh. We have plans on television for BeYu.”
Digital really has paved the way for beauty brands to reach out to more customers on a personal level. With bloggers and influencers endorsing beauty and cosmetics brands on their respective blogs and social media platforms, the reach for brands has increased. But it also brings along questions of credibility.
“In the last four to five years, bloggers and influencers have picked up momentum but the credibility of these bloggers and influencers is an issue. Everyone is a blogger or an influencer today. I believe that people who have substance will survive and people who don’t will perish. Continuity of blogging is not easy. But digital is a good and fast way of reaching one’s consumer. So, we are focusing a lot on digital and we are focusing on customer engagement through digital and we have seen traction coming through that,” said Ghooli.
While brand ambassadors add a lot of value and affinity to products under any category, having a face attached to a beauty care and cosmetics line can help the brand in many ways.
Commenting on the prospects of associating with a celebrity for their products, Ghooli said, “A celebrity tie-up for BeYu won’t work because BeYu’s positioning is ‘be yourself’ and bringing in a brand ambassador will be a clash. With Makeup Factory, we are looking to associate with makeup artists of repute. We want industry experts who can talk about the product because it is a professional beauty brand.”
Elaborating on the distribution plan for Anny and Makeup Factory, Ghooli said that Anny will replicate the BeYu distribution (BeYu is already present in 300 stores across the country). For Makeup Factory, the brand will take the company-owned route.
“Anny doesn’t require assisted selling and it will just mirror BeYu’s distribution. As far as Makeup Factory is concerned, we will be setting up showrooms in malls just like a M.A.C does,” said Ghooli.
Pegged at about $76 billion and growing at a CAGR of about 16%, the Indian cosmetics market is a highly cluttered segment and battles problems such as fakes and a large unorganised market.
“Fakes were a challenge about five years ago but people are realising that the fake brands will not give them the desired result. That realisation is very important and has changed the game. People now-a-days don’t mind paying the price as long as they get the desired quality. Ten to 15 years ago, selling a lipstick at Rs 1,000 was unthinkable but that is changing now,” said Ghooli.
While the north and south of India are their strong markets, Artdeco is also seeing a sales push coming from the non-metros.
“We have had quite a bit of surprises. Cities like Kolhapur, Nasik, Shillong, Bhimapur and Bareilly have sprung some surprises on us. Some of these stores are doing better than our stores in metros. Not everybody thinks of these markets but there is potential over there and there are consumers over there. A lot of customers in these cities and towns are aspiring for good quality products at a certain price and the so-called biggies have not gone there. But we are going to every place with an open mind,” said Ghooli.
In the stores where they are present, Artdeco has captured a market share of about 6%. In certain places, the brand accounts for about 15% of the store’s turnover in the cosmetics segment.
Ghooli believes there will be consolidation in the Indian cosmetics market. Compared to many western and UAE markets, India is still a nascent market, he said.
“The biggies haven’t invested enough in terms of customer education. Take for example, foundation. It is highly under-penetrated as a product category. People still use talcum powder and call it foundation. So, somebody has to educate the customer as to what a foundation is. I also think we have to move away from our fairness fixation. I do believe that in a few years, the market will move towards brightening from fairness. Malu Wilz has in fact come up with a brightening range. I strongly believe that market will start evolving now,” said Ghooli.