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Friday, September 30, 2005

Koa acquiring Kanebo

Yesterday issue of The Star reported that Kao plan to pursue a takeover bid of Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. This has proved my comment on 20 August 2005 accurate.

The report stated that L'Oreal SA, the world's biggest cosmetics company, Johnson & Johnson and Japanese cosmetics maker Kose Corp may make competing bids.Buying Kanebo would almost quadruple Kao's sales of make-up and help the Tokyo-based company challenge Shiseido Co, the leader in Japan's US$12.4bil cosmetics market.

Few days ago, COSMETICS Resources Sdn Bhd, Kanebo’s authorised agent in Malaysia, announced on The Star that the company is setting up five more Kanebo international salons in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Kuching by the end of next year.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Unemployment and Biotechnology

On 12 September 2005 of The Star. A letter title 'Scientists can't find proper jobs" stated that:

I have friends who have graduated with degrees in botany, plant pathology, entomology or environmental biology but most of them are working in fields that are not related to their studies.

On 22 September 2005. Another reader send in a letter "Help science grads obtain jobs related to qualifications" stating that:

I know of a friend's biotechnologist daughter who is applying for a nursing job. A Universiti Sains Malaysian science graduate is working as a clerk in my company.

I have seen so many job advertisement recruiting nutritionist by some of our cosmetic and network marketing company. Apparently there is a mismatch between demand and supply of our manpower in biotechnology industry.

People in the recruitment industry, head hunter and job employment agency. There is an opportunity occur here. I come across a lot of employment agency specialize in IT industry. But there is no one in biotechnology industry in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, an interesting article on The Edge on INDIA'S BIOTECH QUEEN . When job opportunity is not there. Venture out to become an enterpreneur. Who knows you might be Bill Gates in biotechnology industry.

I feel you must be passion on what you study. Research job required long period of time that never incur any income. Only people with passion oramateurr will continue with the research like what happen in the IT industry, like founder of Microsoft, Yahoo etc. Their initial research generate no income. Only passion will make them continue.

Thus, do not study biotechnology because there is a potential, but because you are passion on it .

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

La Roche-Posay and Sunway

La Roche-Posay is the only physician dispensed skincare product under Loreal group. Meaning, this product is not sell in department store. You have to see a doctor, physician or dermatologists in order to get such product.

I unable to find La Roche-Posay product on Loreal's Malaysia website. Apparently not on sell in Malaysia market. website also sold out/not available at the moment.

La Roche-Posay is a village 300km in southern part of Paris.With only 1,500 population. However, during holiday season. 4,000 to 5,000 people will enter the village. Not for vacation but for 3 weeks skin care spa treatment.

According to scientific research. La Roche-Posay are only thermal spring water rich in selenium, a powerful antioxidant. and reduce free-radical. This mean it has anti-aging effect on human skin.

In 1617, first analysis report has been published on spring water at La Roche-Posay.Napoleon has build a spa at La Roche-Posay to provided treatment for it army with skin and dermatological problem.

In French, dermatologists can prescript for people with skin and dematological problem to spa and the bill will be pay by government. Unlike in Malyasia, spa in French will be station wil dermatologist.

In 1929, a chemist and dermatologists used spa water to produce skin care product. In 1989, Loreal acquired the brand and in 2003, acquired the whole country village to ensure continues supply of such spa water.

La Roche-Posay always position as Adjunctive Therapy product. Its main customer are physician and dermatologists. Product sold to patient via recommendation of physician and dermatologists.

Unlike normal skin care product that categories it product between oily skin and dry skin. La Roche-Posay categories its product according to skin problem into LIPIKAR" series and sensitive skin for TOLERIANE series.

Like phamaceutical manufacturing company. La Roche-Posay has to publish
it finding on medical journal, to gain trust from physician and pharmacist and build up it brand name. It has a Clinical Test Manager in HQ in French. To coordinate research in 5 different internal laboratory and external laboratory.

Traditional dermatologists use to emphasis less on "beauty" problem of his patient. This force people move to consult beauticien. Without, professional treatment. Some has become worst after seeking treatment from beautician.

Now dermatologists become a channel to become more beauty. La Roche-Posay able to gain more market shares.

However, La Roche-Posay has difficulty to gain more market share as product not available in normal distribution channel. Repeat customer unable to buy such product in the market if they do not want to seek treatment from doctor or dermatologists.

However, physician would cease to recommend it product to it patient if such product available in department store. Thus, it is difficult to make a decision.

New Brand Director Anthony J. Ponsford would like to maintain physician as their core customer. With emphasis on result of clinical test. At the same time, they would try to widen their distribution channel to pharmacy, to be more customer driven.

In first half of 2005, La Roche Posaylaunch it first "whitening" product in Asia.

In 2001, La Roche-Posay in US acquired a similar brand Biometic. It also plan to merge with an internal cosmetic unit PHAS. Thus, La Roche-Posay would have 3 product line cover Professional Physician, Skin care and cosmetic in the near future.

In Malaysia, Sunway City Bhd has acquired a site in Tambun, Ipoh to develop into Sunway City Ipoh. The site have an reknown Tambun Hot springs which I feel can develop into a location like La Roche-Posay in French. Sunway group also has plan to venture into healthcare industry.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Revlon start from Nail products, manicure & pedicure

Revlon launch it nails ( Or manicure & pedicure product) products initially in 1932, by Charles Revson. In 1935, Revlon started advertisement in print media. Leader of the industry at that point of time Helena Rubinstein(1870-1965) or HR and Elizaberth Arden are too busy fighting with Watch other on marketing shares , neglected a small rival which has slowly eaten up on their market shares. Revlon do not have any of their products. Only have nail , manicure & pedicure products.

Elizaberth Arden decided to venture in nail products in 1940. Revlon, however, venture into llipstick product. In 1940 Sales is USD1.7million but have increase to USD2.8million immediately after venture into lipstick products.

In 1950, Revlon launch "Where's the fire " lipstick.

In 1955, Revlon listed on New York Stock Exchange. On the same years, it become the first company in the industry that advertise on television. It brand immediately overtake its competitors after that.

In 1956, competitors Helena Rubinstein also start advertised on television. At the same time, in Europe Dior, after establish in frangrance product. It start venture in lipstick market as well.

Unlike his competitors. Revlon is a cosmetic company that remain to be manage by man since it started.

In Malaysia, Revlon product also sell via a multilevel marketing company Cosway other than available in normal distribution channel like Watson.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

LiewCF resignation

LiewCF has announced his resignation on his blog. I think he is the only Malaysian blogger that work in beauty and cosmetic industry.( other than myself).

However, his blog is related to technology, not cosmetic industry.

I really curious which company he attached to before? It would be good if he able to share some industry knowledge for me to blog!

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cleanser, toner & moisturizer

On Thursday, an article on the star stated that:

Ask any women and even if she is no beauty expert, she will probably be able to tell you that the basic formula for good skin involves cleansing, toning and moisturizing...........Made popular by Clinique. REALLY??

Biotherm, a brand acquired by L'Oreal in 1970. Unlike other traditional product that categories it product into hydrating product and whitening product. Biotherm categories it product base on your skin, Dry Skin, normal and combination and Oily Skin separate by Pink, Green and Blue colour respectively. It further categories into cleanser, toner and moisturizer.

Actually, 3 step formula of cleansing, toning and moisturizing was invented by Elizebert Arden.Whereas separation of skin into Dry Skin, normal and combination skin and oily skin was first introduce by Helena Rubinstein. A company under L'Oreal now.

Biotherm originated from mineral water. In the early of 19th century, a French biologist discover that mineral water under Pyrenees mountain in the southern part of French has "Thermal Plankton", a key to beautifully healthy skin, a potent skin rejuvenator. He apply intellectual property right on this discovery.

In 1952, founder of Biotherm acquired the IP right and used it in skin care product.

In 1970, L'Oreal acquired Biotherm and venture into Asia market in 1996. Being a late comer in Asia market, it target young people age between 20-29, It target body care product which is neglected by other brand and it also target Men's care segment.

On marketing strategy, Biotherm spend it major marketing budget on Direct Mailing. Usually, cosmetic company spend their marketing budget at the ratio of 4:1. Biotherm Direct Mailing Vs marketing ratio is 1:1. They selected Department Store loyal card holder age between 20-29, achieve certain spending target over last 3 months. Biotherm their brochure to those department's store loyal card holders. This targeted member received at least 3 brochure every year from Biotherm. Attract them to request sample product. Usually, cosmetic product's sample sets are 5ml. Biotherm give full sets of its product genereously.

As Biotherm give a lot of sample sets. It quickly build up it customer database. A customer database was build up base on respective identification number. Sales people would made follow up call after one week a person received a sample sets.

It quickly create a buzz among young people. Majority of Biotherm's new customer are recommended by friend, and this is the first time they buy skin care product. Thus, they have successfully attract first timer.......They bring in new customer to department store. After this incident, department store start allowing them to set up counter in their premises.

Later, Biotherm launch body care product and men's care product. Unexpected the market trend has change and slimming become a fashion. Sales of slimming product has been escalated. Even until now, slimming product comprise 1% of it turnover.

In Hong Kong, Biotherm breakeven in it first year. It become a top department store's brand in second year. In Korea, which people loyal to their own country brand. It rank no 7th .

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Lancome invent lip gloss

Lancome, a brand acquired by Loreal in 1964. Founded by Armand Petitjean in 1935.

Rose is favorite flower of Lancome's founder Armand Petitjean .Since Lancome founded in 1935. Rose was appear in almost every advertisement of Lancome.

Lancome view as an old fashion by young generation.

In order to revive the brand and product.Lancome change it marketing strategy in 2004. Not so emphasis on rose; but rose, lady and product. With a hand written signature logo to signify a close relationship with it customer.

From 1996, R&D centre and marketing team in Japan are responsible for developing a lot of Japan version of product foe Asia market. One of it is BLANC EXPERT Mela-NO Cx Supreme Whitening Spot Corrector. This product quickly penetrate Asia and the world

In 2000. Lancome innovate world first lip gloss. It become a star product of Lancome. Every minutes. Lancome would sell 10 units of lip gross in the world. All competitors are follow to launch similar product.

In 2004,Lancome launch it product for oily skin Pure Focus. The idea was provide by its Taiwan Division and develop by it international team. This product able to sell not only in Asia but penetrate world market. Again, competitors rush to launch similar product.

In 2004, Lancome open it first boutique in Hong Kong. After sucessfully tested such concept. It launch it second boutique in Shanghai. It plan to open more such boutique in Asia, US and France in near future.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Clara International venture into biotechnology

Dr Clara Chee, founder and Chairman of Clara International Beauty Group, announced the company plan to venture into biotechnology industry at the recent Biotechnology Asia 2005 Conference at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Gelang Pasir, which is used by the Javanese for its anti-inflamatory properties, can be used as a raw ingrediant for cosmetic product targeted at hypersensitive skin. The results of this herb have been proven as itis used in the Clara International range of cosmetic products.

Recently, Dr Clara Chee has discovered a herbal based skin gel that she claims cures psoriasis, a skin disorder, and is looking for partners to bring this product to the market.

" The product was not put throught clinical trails as it is not a pharmauceutical-grade product, but a skin-care product. So far, the product has been sucessful in the case studies we have cinducted and the testimonials from users have been positive. However, we will look into putting the product throught clinical trials at a later stage," Reported The Edge.

Clara International currently has two manufacturing plants located near its headquarters in Puchong, planning to set up a phase three plant, a facility that is used for the development of orally prescribed products.

Clara International'd OTC (over the counter) plant is used to develop over-the-counter products while the phase four plant is used to develop cosmetic products.

" We will be looking into herbal menopause therapy eventually once this plant is up and running. The therapy will be an alternative to normone replacement therapy(HRT)," She added.

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Roslawati and Le' Rose

“I started being an announcer in RTM2 and modelling part-time while working in a bank because I needed money to buy clothes and make-up. I liked looking good and wearing designer clothes, so I had to work hard.

“I began recommending the skincare products I was modelling to family and friends. It got to a stage when they asked me to open a beauty salon so they could buy the products directly from me. I was also inspired by my friends who were doing well in the business,” said the 30-year-old, who holds a secretarial diploma and took beauty courses part-time while working in the bank.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz opened Roslawati's first beauty salon in 1999, and a big photograph of them standing together hangs in her office. A year later, Roslawati opened her second salon.

“It is all about working hard. Running a salon was profitable. But I wanted to start my own product because the profit margin will be higher. I also realised that beauty products can be too expensive for some of my customers. Everybody wants to be beautiful but sometimes my clients can only afford to buy the products for the first round.”

So she packaged her products in smaller quantity, and kept the price reasonable.

It is this pragmatism that seems to steer Roslawati's business philosophy.
“I started small. Even now, I have to be careful of costs. I cannot afford to advertise. The publicity we got has been from write-ups about our workshops,” said the managing director, who is completely hands-on in every aspect of the operations of her company, Le Rose Total Wellness Sdn Bhd.

It is essentially a one-woman show with a few employees to help out at her office in Gombak, which houses her distribution centre and the Le' Rose beauty salon.

Roslawati is, however, usually on the road as she has collaborations with Wanita and Puteri Umno to conduct beauty workshops.

“We have done the workshops in Johor and Pahang, and will start conducting the workshops in Kelantan this week. I enjoy conducting the workshops because the women respond so enthusiastically. It's very interactive, and we teach them about the importance of grooming and carrying themselves well.

“I teach them how to take care of their skin, and how important it is to wash their face. We also give them tips on how to wear their tudung and how to match their accessories. The participants enjoy the workshop; beauty is important to women, even 60-year-old grandmothers like to care for their skin,” said Roslawati, who was in Brunei for two months recently to conduct beauty workshops.

It is a good marketing strategy for Roslawati as she is able to introduce Le' Rose products to a captive audience. Some of the workshop participants also signed up to be her agents.

“I enjoy doing the workshops because I enjoy meeting people. But it is also hard work. We are scheduled to conduct the workshops in 45 parliamentary divisions in Kelantan over the weekends. That means I will not have any free weekends till next year,” she said.

In future, Roslawati hopes to expand her merchandise range to include cosmetics and herbal products.

The above are excerpt from The Star.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Revlon and Alliance Cosmetic Group

From a small shop lot in Sri Petaling, Alliance Cosmetics group has spread all over Malaysia and Singapore. Its staff of 16 to 18 people has now grown to over 230 (95% of them women).

Over the years, they’ve managed to expand their portfolio to include a range of cosmetics and bodycare products, including Revlon, Wet ‘n’ Wild, Avene, Elancyl and Silky. Revlon still remains their top-selling brand and is labelled the premium of the mass-market brands, after L’Oreal. Neither of them flinches when I mention their competitor’s name, nor do they start spitting venom. “They have L’Oreal and Maybelline, and we have our Revlon and Wet ‘n’ Wild,” Tan says confidently. “Wet ‘n’ Wild had its biggest growth last year. Right now, there are more than 400 counters all over Malaysia as well as Singapore.”

Alliance Cosmetics’ history with Revlon has been an eventful one, albeit not a very long one. After 20 months of negotiations, Alliance Cosmetics finally acquired sole distributorship for Revlon on Oct 7, 2000, in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore.

Silky, Alliance Cosmetics’ in-house brand of cosmetics. It’s a brand that was launched in January last year; a brand that they hope to be able to market throughout Southeast Asia. At the moment, the young brand has three categories — Silky Lips, Silky Care and Silky White — all neatly priced at RM10 and below.

“I knew absolutely nothing about cosmetics,” says Tan. “I just bought over the company [with a partner], looking at it as another business opportunity. We started out with two brands — Physician’s Formula [make-up] and Avene [body care]

The above are excerpt from The Edge

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