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Rebuilding in Double Time

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: September 5, 2008
Shinzo Maeda

Shiseido President Shinzo Maeda

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The mega line concept will be put to the test in the current fiscal year. Shiseido will launch Elixir Superieur, a new large-scale skin care line, and Integrate, a new makeup line—both in the first half of the year. “We must achieve successful launches of these new mega lines while thoroughly strengthening those already in the market,” said Maeda. “Mega lines introduced during the previous fiscal year all attained high recognition and exhibited strong initial performance.”

Overwhelming the Competition

For Maeda, a brand is a valuable resource that links Shiseido with its customers. A brand, he said, can only be called genuine if it embodies all of the following elements: a sense of absolute reliability and reassurance, commanding presence, adoration and pride. “We must continue refining the Shiseido brand as a genuine brand, and the domestic marketing reforms hold the key,” he said. Making the Shiseido brand “shine even brighter” has been his goal since becoming president.

His strategy can be summed up like this: To nurture broad and strong brands and lines, it is important to identify competitors in each cosmetic category and provide value that overwhelms them. In April, Shiseido began to develop leading lines by grouping the organization into strategic business units based on product categories and sales channels, enabling selective and concentrated resource allocation. Brand managers, responsible for all marketing, were assigned to each business unit.

Today, brand managers coordinate planning and direction of creating lines, advertising, public relations and sales promotions. “Using this category- and channel-based framework as a starting point, we will review the marketing process in the current fiscal year. By carrying out advertising and promotional planning in tandem with product development from the initial stage, and by incorporating customer evaluations at each stage, we will establish the most effective marketing plan,” said Maeda.