Cosmetics company Lime Crime has a very interesting and distinct method for marketing in China as a result of the interesting dynamics that the brand faces in the country.
Lime’s Crime’s Global General Manager Kim Walls talked about this topic during the National Retail Federation Shop.org Conference that was held in Los Angeles. Walls shared that as she learned more about the China market, she realized that LimeCrime couldn’t sell their products using the tactics that she was already familiar with.
One of the challenges that the cosmetics company faced was the requirement that makeup sold wholesale in the country had to be tested in animals. However, Lime Crime is a vegan brand that does not test on animals. The only way that this requirement could be skipped is if the makeup is shipped from the U.S. instead of China. Shipping to customers who are in China through this method could mean having to go through complicated transportation logistics. This includes trying to assist customers who speak a foreign language, handling shipping and return taxes and finding the right transportation companies.
Walls also shared that because of this complicated shipping challenge, the company had to deal with other companies making counterfeit versions of the organization’s products. She even reveals that last year, more than a million units of the company’s lip topper product were sold in counterfeit form in the Chinese market.
The vegan cosmetics organization came up with a solution for this by partnering with Revolve, an e-Commerce fashion company based in Los Angeles. The makeup company was able to create a seed audience in China by informing online customers to visit Revolve to make their purchases. Walls shares that this let customers know that Revolve was the sole source for getting authentic product shipped to China.
Customers who were already existing fans of the vegan cosmetics brand were able to access the e-commerce hub two hours before it was available to the rest of the public, and this served as an effective word-of-mouth marketing tool. The vegan makeup organization worked with lots of influencers who were passionate about the company, and able to effectively influence the average consumer.