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Paths to Purchase

By: Sara Mason
Posted: June 22, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Although the brand uses the Internet to educate consumers about the brand, 90% of sales are from brick-and-mortar retail. By piggy-backing on Target’s credibility in a slow economy, the brand has been able to weather the economic storm. In fact, throughout the recessed economy, Lavara was able to expand by 1,500 doors by refocusing on its message: Green You Can Believe In!

Not deviating from its multichannel marketing and retail strategy was key as well. “We’ve managed our image and positioning in today’s increasingly digital marketplace very well,” said Jacob. Positioning itself as an affordable natural line, the brand’s philosophy aligns with today’s mass market shoppers. “The biggest success for retailing our brand in today’s beauty industry is staying true to our ingredient commitment,” said Jacob.

The brand adopted the strict guidelines set by BDIH, the regulatory organization in Germany, a stringent certification process for ensuring products are manufactured to the highest standards of being all natural and ecologically friendly. Lavera committed itself to providing greater transparency to consumers about products. It’s a message that’s certainly not gone unnoticed.

Specialized Retail

Blinc benefited from a long-term retail strategy of growing through small, independent, high-end spas, salons and beauty supply stores. With nearly 10,000 doors throughout the U.S., as well as international distributors, the brand was able to sustain a solid retailer base through the tough economy and minimize risk.

The brand initially tried mass channels in Canada upon its launch of its Kiss Me Mascara product 11 years ago. But consumers misinterpreted the brand and product message, and it was quickly realized that education needed to go along with the product. So, one at a time, the company partnered with salons and spas in the U.S. where trained professionals could provide a little needed explanation. The company now goes to 40 trade shows a year to expand its retail partners. Outside the U.S., the brand primarily has bulk distributor sales in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Sweden and the Netherlands, strictly being reactive to requests. In 2009, however, the brand went to Cosmoprof Bologna, and is being more proactive in seeking the right partners to help replicate its success in the U.S. Deals in the making could open exploding Asian markets, and help mitigate any potential stagnation in the U.S. market.