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Ethnic Cosmetics Fit New Beauty Paradigm

By: Sara Mason
Posted: December 10, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

BlackUp recently launched a collection of high-pigmented lipsticks, rich in natural active ingredients, in a redesigned package.

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The Real Cosmetics brand is currently undergoing a relaunch, which will feature an expanded makeup and color range, as well as fragrance and skin care, with a focus on holistic beauty. “The new beauty paradigm is about women loving who they are—mind, beauty and soul,” said Khalid. “It’s not just external, it’s internal. “ She believes this new paradigm is the future of beauty. Khalid is seeking capital for franchise stores featuring the expanded line, potentially using a similar retail concept as The Body Shop.

Marketing & Distribution

Although Thambirajah plans to introduce the Thevi line to retail stores next year, she is relying on a grassroots marketing campaign to build a following first. Her goal is to partner with retailers who understand the ethnic market.

“Retailers are not confident, and it is a risky venture—especially in this economic climate,” Thambirajah says. “I won’t succeed unless I have a loyal customer base that identifies with the message.” In the meantime, she is looking for other opportunities for consumers to test and try the products and build awareness until they are available at retail. Thambirajah has even targeted ethnic beauty bloggers to stimulate awareness, connecting with them to run trials and promotions.

Representatives who have a personal connection with consumers give companies like Avon a unique advantage when it comes to providing a total product experience. “Sampling is key to launching face products, as it allows customers to find their shade match and experience the formula,” says Jessica Grunfeld, Avon manager, U.S. color marketing. The brand also consistently evaluates its palettes to ensure appropriate shades for all skin types. Because Avon is sold in so many different regions of the world, the brand can gain insights into women’s diverse beauty needs. “We use these insights to create products that work with each ethnicity, whether it’s whitening foundation in Asia or kohl eyeliner in India,” adds Tina Haviland, director, Avon global product innovation.

Content and Connection

In today’s competitive environment, in which brands have to overcome the long-held disenchantment many ethnic consumers have with products, a multitiered approach to building awareness and consumer interaction is necessary.