By THE NATION
With 123 million products sold across all categories, L’Oreal says it doubled the growth rate of the overall beauty-products industry, and also remaining the leading player in the facial skincare segment.
“Our group mission is to drive ‘beauty for all’, making beauty universal,” said Nathalie Gerschtein Keraudy, managing director of L’Oreal (Thailand). “Therefore, the company remains focused on providing all its customers with high-quality cosmetic products that are safe, efficient and innovative.
“L’Oreal’s success is defined by its unique approach to the bright new world of beauty and is based on the following factors: clearly defined mission and strategy, a highly engaged team of experts, a global portfolio of emblematic brands, long-haul investment in research and innovation, [and] implementation of digital technologies, corporate flexibility and agility – all backed up by a strong entrepreneurial culture.”
Compared with 2015, Thailand’s beauty market grew by 6.5 per cent to a total value of Bt154 billion, of which Bt70 billion was from skincare products, up 6.1 per cent; Bt21 billion from makeup, up 7 per cent; and Bt29 billion from hair products, up 6.3 per cent. In the skincare segment, 83 per cent of revenue was from facial-care products.
Makeup showed the fastest growth, with 14 per cent market share, an increase of 7 per cent, while skincare made the biggest contribution with a 46-per-cent market share.
Thailand’s beauty-products market is one of the largest in Asean, and L’Oreal Thailand is one of the largest L’Oreal subsidiaries in this region. According to Euromonitor, the Asia-Pacific region now represents almost a third of the global beauty and personal-care market, with developing markets, including Thailand, driving growth for the entire region.
To accomplish its business goals in 2017 and fulfil its ambition of becoming the No 1 cosmetics company in the Kingdom, L’Oreal Thailand says it will focus on four key areas: consumer-centricity, connecting with customers, being a great employer, and being a great citizen.
It says product innovation will remain the core of the L’Oreal brand experience and will be enhanced through different initiatives and platforms.
An example is L’Oreal unit Lancome, which launched a new counter concept called Parisian Apartment, which blends modernity and French heritage. The company says the new counter at Siam Paragon shopping complex in Bangkok provides a convivial environment of free expression, allowing consumers to play with textures and colours and define their own vision of femininity.
Communications will be optimised to ensure that consumers make meaningful and lasting connections with the brand. L’Oreal says it will make use of various communication channels and approaches including television commercials targeting different groups of consumers, strengthening partnerships with strategic content providers such as the producers of The Face Thailand, connecting with consumers through social media, and more.
“Early in 2017, our five brands, L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, Biotherm, Lancome and Kiehl’s, launched their first official Line accounts to connect with the Thai beauty community,” Keraudy said.
“A YouTube channel for Maybelline New York, ‘Make Up My Way’, which is the first channel [for a makeup brand], was also created. It provides real-life advice as well as creating excitement consumers want for makeup.”
L’Oreal Thailand recently appointed its first digital director, who will lead digital transformation initiatives from the corporate level and animate the firm’s digital community, which consists of more than 20 people. Last year alone, L’Oreal Thailand’s e-commerce sales rose by more than 169 per cent, indicating that the company has managed to develop personalised interactions with consumers, it says.
Making L’Oreal a great place to work for all employees is still one of the top priorities, it says. Learning and development programmes will be conducted all year around with an increased focus on millennials, who are the current drivers of ideas and innovations in the company.
Finally, L’Oreal says its “Sharing Beauty with All” programme shows its commitment to sustainable innovation, production, living and development by 2020. The company has opened its Asia’s first a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Level green distribution centre, designed to reduce its environmental footprint in Thailand.
Many of its charitable contributions under “Sharing Beauty with All” will continue this year, such as “For Women in Science”, which will celebrate its 15 years of empowering females in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Meanwhile “Beauty for a Better Life”, “Solidarity Sourcing” and “Bringing Hope to Mums” will increase their support for the underprivileged this year.
“Despite a volatile and uncertain economic context, L’Oreal Thailand is confident that it will once again outperform the beauty market in 2017 and achieve another year of sales and profit growth,” Keraudy said. “We will work towards our vision of having at least one L’Oreal product in every Thai household.”