Never-Ending Story Of Lamy Cosmetics Dreaming Of New Korean Wave Through ‘Choice And Focus’
[by Jeong Yujin] Just a few years ago, the trend of cosmetics consumption by many women in South Korea and other countries was focused on ‘luxury goods.’
However, the global economic recession provided a foothold for K-cosmetics to make a leap forward. As South Korean cosmetics with excellent ingredients and effects at a low price held the limelight, they became popular as much as luxury cosmetics.
In particular, with the Korea-China Free Trade Agreement concluded in October last year, South Korean cosmetics were able to reach China. The export competitiveness of the South Korean beauty industry has greatly improved as if it had been waiting for the conclusion of the FTA, of which negotiations took 30 months.
Therefore, many beauty companies in South Korea are putting spurs to enter the Chinese market to take this opportunity. Lamy Cosmetics (with CEO Park Hye-rin) is also doing its best to make inroads into foreign markets up to its name ‘Lamy,’ which means ‘to broadly display beauty.’
▶▶Read History Of Lamy Cosmetics
Lamy Cosmetics became a cosmetics company as Dong-A Pharmaceutical acquired Lili Chemical Industry in 1975. Lamy Cosmetics developed high-quality cosmetic products safe to human skin by grafting the knowledge and experiences on health it acquired through pharmaceutical business upon beauty.
‘Lafine,’ the first brand the company developed, marked a new era in the South Korean beauty industry by recording a high growth of 82%. Even today, 40 years after that, many think of ‘Yachae (meaning ‘vegetable’) cleansing’ simultaneously with mentioning Lafine, because it was such a boom back then. Its Yachae series, which included cleansing cream, cleansing foam, and massage cream, also became a best seller for a long time.
Next, the company entered into a technical partnership with Mennen (currently Colgate), from the U.S., in 1984 and Renoma, from France, in 2000, to provide superior quality to customers and establish a maniac customer group. Also, Lamy Cosmetics has been displaying active exports to many countries in the world including Australia, China, and the U.S., beginning with exports to Malaysia in 1986.
Since its brand Calalina Geo was launched in Southeast Asia and Middle East - including Hong Kong and Iran - in 1986, Lamy Cosmetics maintained a constant relationship with buyers from those countries to become a global company.
Currently, Lamy Cosmetics is competing with global beauty brands as well as South Korean companies including LG Household & Health Care through a variety of distribution channels such as market sales and door-to-door sales. In the fierce competition of the beauty market, the company is showing differentiated marketing activities complying with the four principles of transparent trade, price observance, product differentiation by distribution route, and thorough education.
Lamy Cosmetics is now continuing to make leaps as an affiliate of Biosmart Corporation, which is the largest smart card manufacturer in South Korea.
▶▶Brands That Made Lamy Grow
With the ideology to let beauty be known to the whole world with safe, quality cosmetics, Lamy Cosmetics has established a solid foothold as a beauty brand only with brands showing the highest quality.
Liberty Without Being Bound, Renoma
Renoma, which was created by Maurice Cressy Renoma, claims to stand for liberty, not bounds, by various practices such as tradition, culture, and lifestyle. It has emerged as a global brand offering products ranging from fashion and accessory to cosmetics.
The brand was successfully launched simultaneously in Paris and Tokyo in 1976, and since then, its scale has been expanded to now possess around two thousand stores in the world.
Therefore, Lamy Cosmetics is developing all products by obtaining a motif from the passion about ’creation’ through technical partnership with Renoma. It is making continuous efforts to enable those consumers who pursue their own beauty and want creative expressions to have a broad range of choices.
Pure Beauty From Nature, Geo
Geo offers eco-friendly cosmetics that give no irritation to the skin and revive the listless skin with comfortable rest and healthy energy of the nature. Geo is a brand that pursues the harmony between women and the nature through honesty and cleanliness.
Since the brand was launched in 1999, it received the Big Brand Grand Prize, selected by Good Day newspaper, for dominating both the areas of skin care and color make-up. Especially, its skin care products contain nanodot substances that are friendly to the skin, boasting fast absorption and light, fresh feeling.
Geo has been able to be loved for a long time as it was made from safe ingredients, which makes it proper for modern women who seek ‘well-being.’ Its concept, which is to present comfortable rest to tired skins, is expected to grow even further from now on.
Icon Of Escape And Filling, Sortie
Sortie was developed in 1997 when functional cosmetics started receiving attention. Sortie, which means escape in French, has the meaning to protect the skin to escape from the environment that shows negative effects.
Propolis, its major ingredient, is a sticky material of a dark brown color, which is issued from beehives. It helps cell metabolism and has great anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative effects so it attracts attention as health food and cosmetics ingredient.
Sortie grafts propolis, which used to be used only as health food, upon cosmetics. The result was a great success. It emerged as a cosmetic brand exclusively for stores specializing in cosmetics with its superb nutrition supply. Its distribution is differentiated from that of other brands sold in markets.
Particularly, Sortie’s Silk Radiance Hair Color was selected as ‘Hit 500’ products in South Korea. The Hit 500 business, which is the best known from among businesses for revitalization of trade of products made by small and medium enterprises, is a government-supported business to pick South Korea’s representative products through assessment by experts in various areas.
The products picked as the Hit 500 products are provided with an increase in quality through several steps, including online exhibitions, public relations through social network services, product experiences by consumer assessment groups, and entry into the Hit 500 Plaza, which is an offline store, and the optimized marketing strategy for the sales channel and target customers.
Sortie focused on expanding sales through strict price control and manufacturing of products needed by stores specializing in cosmetics. Also, the brand keeps having its products checked by stores specializing in cosmetics and consumers during product development to be continuously loved by women in their 30s and 40s.
Men’s Cosmetics With Tradition, Mennen
Mennen, which boasts a history of 130 years, started with research and development as well as with sales of personal household items and products for infants and children that are available without a doctor’s prescription. Afterwards, Mennen made a large scale and a long history through repeated advancement. Its marketing slogan, ‘by MENNEN,’ which stood for simplicity, became the most successful one.
Its representative product, Skin Bracer, heals minute injuries and recovers rough skin after shaving and made it a global brand. Its fresh, strong scent, which only Mennen can materialize, allows men to express their individualities with intelligence and charm.
Advanced Sensibility About Beauty, Lafine
Lafine, which was released when Dong-A Pharmaceutical acquired Lili Cosmetics in 1975, received great expectation and response from consumers from the beginning. During the brand’s past forty years of activities, it has produced various products from basic skin care products and base and point make-up products to premium items for skin care to meet the expectations of consumers. The years have a huge significance to Lamy Cosmetics.
The brand Lafine, which put priority on the make-up trend and skin according to the times, introduced the back injection (B.I) method, which was the only one in the world, for the first time in Korea. The B.I method consists in not putting materials in the container from above but to send up materials from below the container to dry them naturally.
In particular, its famous Yachae line uses five natural vegetables, which are cucumber, carrot, water parsley, tomato, and parsley, to supply sufficient moisture and nutrition to the skin. The Yachae line of Lafine, which was released for the first time in 1994, has been renewed constantly to this day, selling one million units or more each year.
In addition, it was exported in a large quantity to several countries such as Japan, the U.S., and China, introducing a boom for natural cosmetics. The Yachae care, which can be called the origin of well-being beauty, has recently received an enthusiastic response from consumers who like further upgraded products.
Peak Of Classical Beauty, Catalina Geo
Catalina Geo is a brand that simultaneously pursues purity, beauty, and confidence. Its ideology definitely shows through its containers. They are designed to show elegant feminine beauty with soft curves and to suit modern women who place the highest priority on chic charms with harmony between modern feeling and sophisticated beauty.
Catalina Geo is currently being exported to 12 countries in the world including China, Japan, and Hong Kong, being recognized as a high-quality cosmetic brand that expresses sophisticated and modern feeling focusing on its make-up line.
Especially, its recently-released Color Capsule Make-up Base is made by using visible capsules for the first time in the world. It prevents the skin from aging through sunblock and supplies moisture to the skin with essence substances, being welcomed by women from all over the world simultaneously with its release.
▶▶Stand Firmly As A Symbol Of ‘Beauty’
“I came to focus on Miss Korea, who has the most ‘Korean’ kind of beauty, in order to lead Lamy to make a leap forward to the world,” said Park Hye-rin, CEO of Lamy Cosmetics.
Miss Korea is the name that represents the beauty of South Korea. The contestants make great efforts to have both intelligence and beauty, living together from before the event.
Lamy Cosmetics, which gained much attention by selecting Miss Korea winners such as Kim Yu-mi, Lee Seo-bin, and Choi Song-yi as its model, began to support the Miss Korea competition in earnest in 2014. The company supplied make-up boxes and cosmetics sets since when the contestants started living together, and presented ‘the Lafine Dew It Cleansing Water’ to 500 audiences on the day of the event for its brand marketing.
Also, Lamy Cosmetics inserted the Miss Korea mark to all products of the company to actively utilize the Miss Korea competition for its public relations. The company performed active on-site sales by producing various products for skin care and make-up during the period of the event to foster the products of Lafine, its representative brand.
One of those who are picked as ‘Sun (first runners-up)’ holds the title of ‘Miss Lafine’ and becomes the exclusive model. Lamy Cosmetics’ public relations business associated with Miss Korea, which is the symbol of beauty of South Korea, to shows the bright outlook of the company, which is a company that ‘displays beauty.’
▶▶Lamy Cosmetics In The World
The world is now full of fever for the Korean wave. Accordingly, South Korean products are selling like hot cakes with a remarkable growth rate. The biggest beneficiary of this trend is K-cosmetics.
As mentioned above, as overseas consumers, who used to focus only on luxury brands, came to see South Korean dramas and entertainers, they showed an upsurge of interest for South Korean cosmetics. Also in the center of this K-cosmetics fever stood Lamy Cosmetics.
Lamy Cosmetics launched its Catalina Geo brand simultaneously in Hong Kong and Iran in 1986, starting exports to Southeast Asia and the Middle East. This was thanks to the foresight of the company’s executives and employees who fast sensed the trend of K-cosmetics.
Currently, Lamy Cosmetics is repeating constant growth as a global brand with over three million dollars of export a year through a global network in 12 countries including the U.S., China, and Vietnam. In particular, Catalina Geo is very famous with recognized quality and effects also in foreign countries.
Also, the company has kept a tie with buyers from various countries for over 15 years on average under the management policy of trust and common prosperity. However, Lamy Cosmetics is not satisfied with only that and is doing its best to make a great growth as a brand in the world by constantly participating in beauty exhibitions, at home and abroad.
Especially, Lamy entered Iran and Dubai, which are the center of the Middle East market, with a strategy. Catalina Geo, Lamy’s exclusive import brand, has already grown to range with global brands. Its sales are also stable, causing other brands, which dream of entering the Middle East market, to envy.
Last year, Lamy Cosmetics showed superb activities at Cosmoprof in Hong Kong and Beyond Beauty Paris, which are famous as the largest beauty exhibitions in the world. Beauty exhibitions are the forum of exchanges to understand the current status of the global beauty market and new trends, serving as the foothold to help cosmetics companies make inroads into the global market.
Therefore, Lamy attended exhibitions with selected brands, Catalina Geo and Geo, which are exclusively for exports. Despite the international economic recession, 1,780 companies from 42 countries attended for active public relations and trade, to take part in a variety of programs including seminars and meetings.
Lamy Cosmetics designed wall paintings that show the company’s history and unique booths to stand out, catching the eyes of buyers who were looking for new, fresh products.
Starting from Lamy’s participation in the Beautyworld Middle East in Dubai in May 2012, the company constantly attended beauty exhibitions held in various countries in the world such as the HBA Global EXPO 2012 and Cosme Tokyo, being well received successively.
This is a part of Lamy’s global project aiming at revitalization of the market of stores specializing in cosmetics as well as entry into the overseas market. Lamy has succeeded in letting its status as a global company be known at home and abroad by taking part also in Cosme Tokyo, which covers the Middle East and Asia as well as Europe.
In particular, at the HBA Global EXPO held in New York in June 2012, Lamy Cosmetics successfully advertised its vibration foundation and soothing cream to buyers from 30 countries including the U.S., Canada, and Italy. These products were also popular among women, leading to the attention of multinational companies such as Avon and Johnson & Johnson.
Participation in those beauty exhibitions is the optimal opportunity tfor Lamy Cosmetics to extend into the entire Asia at the moment, when the Korean wave fever is at its highest peak. General Manager Lee Ki-seok at Lamy Cosmetics said, “It seems our continuous participation in international exhibitions is leading to order of exports, contributing to the sales of our company.”
He added, “We will become a company that meets the needs of buyers from all over the world by producing excellent products that can satisfy not only the South Korean market but also the global market,” representing the great ambition of Lamy Cosmetics.
Lamy has emerged as a global brand by making efforts to enter the overseas market. Recently, the company has also been introduced by large portal websites in China such as Yahoo China and Sohu, and beauty magazines including Vogue China and Esquire China. The company is also concentrating on overseas sales of Catalina Geo Color Capsule Make-up Base.
Overseas media introduced Catalina Geo Color Capsule Make-up Base as ‘a base cosmetic item containing essence, different than products of other companies, that can keep your skin moist also in dry seasons.’ They add that the item ‘corrects your skin tone, blocks the sunlight, and brightens your skin, meeting all the needs of women from the East and the West.’
Esquire China highly evaluated its quality, saying, “While base products currently sold in the market contain oil to remove dryness, this product contains very little oil for also those who have sensitive skin to easily use.”
The product quality of Lamy is not only praised by word of mouth. The company has launched ‘Intensive STAR.R,’ which is a skin care product for women at Star Home Shopping, which was established through investment by Sichuan TV in China. In addition, Lamy Cosmetics has concluded an agreement for continuous business promotion with Star Home Shopping, declaring its earnest entry into the Chinese market.
Also, Lamy is now the ambassador of a primary school located in China’s mainland. The new Honorary Ambassador helped renovating the schoolyard, draining facilities, security room and school restaurant of the bnt Love School but also bought sports facilities, uniforms and school supplies to provide the kids with a great education.
The small school of 30 pupils managed to reach at the region’s other schools thanks to Lamy’s support, and 160 pupils are now attending classes there. The level of education followed the quality of the facilities so that the school can provide the best environment to these children.
Recently, Park Hye Rin personally visited the Love School to offer donations and scholarships to the children, leading the school to appear on various newspaper’s front page.
▶▶Lamy, What Is Different
Why is Lamy Cosmetics recognized so much overseas as well as in South Korea? The secret lies in the company’s technologies oriented to ‘being the first in the world, the only in the world, and the best in the world.’
The part where Lamy’s products are differentiated from products of other companies is the wet coating injection method. This method, also called as the wet forming method, does not put the powder mixed with moisturizing substances in the container from above but sends them up (back injection) through a hole at the bottom of the container to dry them naturally.
The products made by this method have fine, uniform powder particles to be applied lightly close to the skin without getting together on the skin. In particular, the pact possesses both transparency and coverage to be used for all types of skin and loved by women in all age groups.
The clear light powder, which keeps the skin transparent even after a long time, sticks to the skin with less darkening. In addition, the powder that controls sebum prevents the skin from getting oily for those with oily skin to use with an easy mind.
Geo Sempre Happy & Please Lipstick maintains its high pigmented colors for a long time, even taking care of your lips at the same time. Another popular product, Lareine Water-Full Cushion Foundation boasts a high content of moisture with fine effects for skin brightening and wrinkle reduction.
Especially, Catalina Geo Color Capsule Make-up Base, which is being actively promoted overseas, is gaining attention from foreign consumers with its unique appearance, superior colors, and skin care effects.
Unlike other make-up bases, it is equipped with a pump to make a differentiated image to consumers. The item is expected to be loved steadily also from now on. Also, it shows a great sale result regardless of season, and is very popular in Asia, especially in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China.
The Color Capsule Make-up Base, which was first released in September 2014, has recorded the sales of 2.2 billion won by selling 200,000 units until late February 2015.
General Manager Kim Kyoung-sun at Lamy Cosmetics said, “We are planning to unveil products of more brands from now on with the strong points of Lamy’s own,” adding, “We will get close to consumers in a friendly way with an outstanding product quality.”
▶▶Future Of Lamy Cosmetics
CEO Park Hye-rin is actively using the awareness of Lamy Cosmetics to grow the company into a global cosmetics company. She has realized that it is hard for a new cosmetic company to succeed because consumers feel anxious whether a new item will match their skin or not.
She said, “A one-way supply of the same products cannot be a condition of success any longer,” adding, “A customized platform for customers that suggests the cosmetics and skin care for the skin type of the user will become the major trend.”
The uncertainty of company management is growing because of the global market’s situation where you cannot see any further than your nose. Lamy Cosmetics plans to increase its brand value at home and abroad with three strategies of diversification of business areas, nurturing of hit products, and strengthening of employees’ capabilities.
(photo by Lamy Cosmetics, official Website of Miss Korea, Yahoo Hong Kong, Esquire China, Sohu.com, bntnews DB)
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Write: 2015-04-15 09:17:54 / Update: 2015-04-16 13:58:54
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