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"The Brazilian hair care market is very competitive, but there is still room for new players," Marcelo Carneiro, Kosé Brasil

A few months after its entry into the Brazilian market, Japan’s third-largest manufacturer of beauty products sees potential in the use of local ingredients for R&D but doesn’t yet have plans to produce in Brazil.

Japanese cosmetics giant Kosé has landed in Brazil at a time of political and economic turmoil, but this doesn’t seem to have affected the company’s goals. Celebrating its 70 years of operations, Kosé is now present in 26 countries and has long term plans for the world’s fourth-largest beauty market.

In an exclusive interview with Brazil Beauty News, director of Kosé Brasil Marcelo Carneiro talks about the prospects and expectations for SKNY, the brand selected to test the market and map Brazilian women’s unique hair care needs.

Marcelo Carneiro, director of Kosé Brasil

Marcelo Carneiro, director of Kosé Brasil

Brazil Beauty News - What is Brazil’s place in Kosé’s strategic global expansion plan?

Marcelo Carneiro - We have long-term plans for Brazil. As the business develops, we will reinvest our profit to strengthen our local presence and expand our operations throughout the country. We are strong believers in the potential of the Brazilian beauty market, which makes us look forward to the future and also look for opportunities that will attract further investment from Japan.

Brazil Beauty News - What were Kosé’s main challenges involving Brazil’s continental dimensions and legislation?

Marcelo Carneiro - We spent a few months studying the market, and this has prepared us for each of the steps necessary for the implementation of the Brazilian branch. As they say, we have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. As expected, the local legislation and bureaucracy didn’t make things easy, but everything fell within our timeline, which was a rather conservative one, and we were very well advised.

Brazil Beauty News - Why did Kosé decide to enter the market with a hair care range?

Marcelo Carneiro - The hair care market in Brazil is very robust and competitive, but it hasn’t reached its maturity and is not saturated yet. We believe this segment will continue to grow, and there is still room for new players that can offer quality, high-performance products. This is what motivated Kosé to enter the Brazilian market with SKNY. It is one single product range designed to cleanse, condition, nourish, restore, protect and style the hair, which penetrates deeply into the hair fiber to repair damage and leave it looking healthy.

Brazil Beauty News - Where will the products be manufactured?

Marcelo Carneiro - In this initial stage, all products will be imported from our plants in Japan. Although we don’t yet have plans to set up a plant in Brazil, this possibility is not entirely ruled out. It all depends on how the business develops.

Brazil Beauty News - Does the brand consider using ingredients sourced from the Brazilian biodiversity in its products?

Marcelo Carneiro - Kosé has one of the most modern R&D centers in the world, and we are constantly looking for new active ingredients. We see the start of the Brazilian operations as an opportunity for our research team to have direct access to local ingredients that are not yet well known or largely explored in Japan.

Brazil Beauty News - Who is Kosé’s target audience in Brazil?

Marcelo Carneiro - When it comes to hair care products, Brazilian consumers are well informed and not afraid to invest in higher quality products. Brazilian women are proficient in separating facts from fiction – they are open to trying a new product, but won’t buy it again if doesn’t deliver the expected results. So I would say our target market is any woman who cares about the health of their hair.

Brazil Beauty News - What are the unique features that will allow the brand to succeed in such a competitive market?

Marcelo Carneiro - First and foremost, I would say ensuring product quality in all aspects will make SKNY stand out from the crowd – from formulation to packaging, from promotional materials to POS training. Also, the results of our marketing surveys have led us to make a significant investment in sampling to promote product trial, including both free sachets and travel-size products.

Brazil Beauty News - How does Kosé intend to address the diversity of Brazilian consumers and regional features?

Marcelo Carneiro - The cultural and ethnical diversity of consumers has always been a key factor in our strategy. Our distribution will be concentrated in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as we want not only to control POS quality but also ensure efficient restocking. Running out of stock is a common issue among companies that experience fast growth, and it’s very frustrating from the customer’s point of view. As we expand our distribution to other states, we will not only implement marketing and communication strategies that are relevant to that specific audience but also introduce products that are more suited to the particularities of local customers.

Brazil Beauty News - Is there an estimate on when new products will be launched in Brazil?

Marcelo Carneiro - Our plan is to have at least one new SKNY product being launched every six months. We don’t yet have plans to introduce other brands in Brazil, but given the size of our portfolio, we are currently assessing the market to identify which brands are best suited to the needs and expectations of Brazilian consumers.

Brazil Beauty News - Does Kosé plan to expand into other product categories in Brazil in addition to hair care? If so, which ones?

Marcelo Carneiro - There are 35 beauty brands under the Kosé umbrella, and we expect to expand Decorté, Jill Stuart and Sekkisei on a global scale. As we grow SKNY’s business in Brazil, we hope to achieve a better understanding of the behavior of Brazilian consumers towards other categories such as skin care and makeup.

Brazil Beauty News - What global hair care trends should have a good response in Brazil?

Marcelo Carneiro - In the online era, I believe Brazilian women are just as in-step with the latest trends as those of any other nation. My personal feeling is that Brazilians are still somewhat conservative when it comes to hair care. However, this has been changing, especially when we look at the use of hair color to create a unique look and the comeback of curly hair.

Amanda Veloso

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© 2017 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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