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A recent report from research firm RNCOS shows that the Indian cosmetic sector is expected to post a compound annual growth rate of 18% 2011–2014. The growth has been attributed, in part, to Indian women’s increasing product awareness and beauty consciousness. However, male consumers are opening up to the need for grooming products made for men. Male consumers are travelling more than ever, and are being influenced by the grooming habits of their international counterparts. In response, many national and international beauty brands are launching products targeted at men.
In terms of growth opportunities, smaller towns are demonstrating their potential as big retailers open large format stores in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities and towns. There is a latent demand in those areas as exposure to beauty care through Internet drove demand prior to brick-and-mortar retail outlets. In rural areas where many Indian brands are exploring opportunities, low price, high quality and easy availability will be the key to growth.
The Body Shop announced its first-ever brand ambassador to promote its products in India. The company has appointed actress, and erstwhile beauty queen Dia Mirza as India brand ambassador. Her association with the brand was announced in conjunction with the launch of skin-whitening range Moisture White.
According to David Smith, managing director, The Body Shop Asia-Pacific, this decision was made to push the brand to the next level of growth in the country, and India is a country where most brands work with celebrity brand ambassadors to improve the brand recall of the products. Following suit by having an Indian celebrity talk about the benefits of using the products, The Body Shop deemed the strategy important as it looks to strengthen its presence in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities where it is expanding its base.
Estella Lau, franchisee director, The Body Shop Asia-Pacific, indicated that the company decided to partner with Mirza (who is not the best-known actress in India) because, in addition to her natural beauty, she is actively involved in many community activities. Lau and Smith both stressed that Mirza embodies The Body Shop’s ethical values. The company will work with Mirza on strategic advertising and promotional activities for a wide range of skin care products in the coming months.