Brand in action: How Florasis reinvented makeup with Chinese style and culture

Chinese make-up model Florasis’ co-founder Freeman shares the way it rode on the Chinese-ness pattern to disrupt the market amid stiff competitors and turn into an web hit nearly in a single day.

This article is a part of a Spotlight collection on what entrepreneurs can be taught from DTC disruptors in China. Read extra

Key insights

The Florasis style depends on historic Chinese recipes to supply cosmetics incorporating flower essences and natural extracts.
Products are co-created with customers who consider samples and give the makeup firm suggestions on their experiences.
Among its six key pillars for progress are the insistence on Oriental heritage, artisanal R&D and consumer co-creation.

The “Chinese-ness” pattern – often called guochao, the place manufacturers and merchandise incorporate conventional Chinese style and cultural parts – has been sizzling in current years. Will or not it’s short-lived and how does Florasis differentiate itself from different manufacturers driving this wave?
Florasis caught the Chinese guochao pattern however we do not outline ourselves as a “Chinese guochao model”. Our final aim is to turn into the most effective cultural model in China and to create a novel “Florasis style” of utilizing historic Chinese recipes for cosmetics and makeup with flower essences and natural extracts. We are devoted to exploring Oriental aesthetics, fusing conventional Chinese culture with modernity.
From the very starting, our model insisted on creating merchandise and content material with such traits. Our uncooked supplies, skincare formulation, model colors and model fonts form the individuality and exclusivity of Florasis’ model positioning.
Your advertising and marketing is highly effective as a result of it’s on the core of the customer-brand relationship. What does Florasis concentrate on when creating new merchandise or portfolios and how does it affect the enterprise in the medium and long run?
Florasis merchandise are literally co-created by the model and our customers, and we now have at all times met the wants of our customers when launching our merchandise. We began our “consumer co-creation” program lengthy earlier than we formally launched Florasis. We invited customers to turn into our “product expertise officers” (we known as them “flower companions”) to guage every of our merchandise and give us suggestions on their experiences. This undertaking required quite a lot of dedication as we needed to display screen a lot of product expertise officers, ship giant numbers of samples, observe up on every consumer’s suggestions, repeatedly tweak the skincare formulation, and optimise the merchandise. Each process required quite a lot of manpower and time.
But due to consumer co-creation, our product improvement is a mix of “gradual work” and “quick iteration”.
We had been “gradual” as a result of we would have liked to tweak the formulation little by little, polish the product design little by little, and put it to the check little by little. That’s why we had been gradual – so gradual that we are sometimes pushed by our customers to return up with new merchandise.
But we had been additionally very “quick” as a result of we now have a superb basis for the merchandise after all of the preliminary refinements and with the recommendation of our flower companions, we are able to establish issues with the merchandise quicker than earlier than and then iterate and optimise.
For instance, our Florasis eyebrow pencil was upgraded seven instances inside 4 years, because of co-creation with customers.
User co-creation has additionally led to transformative innovation. For instance, our fleece flower root eyebrow powdered pencil is the primary of its sort by Florasis because it combines the slimline really feel of an eyebrow pencil with the tender and non-clumping nature of forehead powder. This was created primarily based on user-driven wants, mixed with breakthroughs in analysis and improvement.
To date, the Florasis model has over 100,000 product expertise officers. Under the consumer co-creation mannequin, most of Florasis’ widespread merchandise have achieved a Tmall score of 4.9 out of 5, which suggests our merchandise are extensively recognised by customers.

Freeman, Co-founder, Florasis
In the event of our model, product high quality is core. Marketing and promotions observe the core and amplify the impact of product high quality. Florasis at all times insists on making good merchandise and good merchandise come first earlier than any advertising and marketing and promotional actions launched round them.
As talked about earlier, we’re devoted to exploring Oriental aesthetics. So each our merchandise and advertising and marketing actions are at all times geared toward selling Oriental magnificence. For instance, in 2019, we launched a present field impressed by the ten scenes of West Lake and in 2020, we launched a present field impressed by Miao silver jewellery.
As a brand new model that primarily sells on-line, will you broaden into offline channels in the long run?
Florasis’ primary gross sales channels are presently targeted on-line, together with main e-commerce channels similar to Tmall, JD and Vipshop. At the identical time, on March 1, we formally launched on Amazon Japan, opening an abroad on-line channel.
It is price mentioning that our home lipstick product “Concentric Lock Lipstick”, priced at RMB 219, was bought for six,129 yen (RMB 371) on Amazon Japan – a value that exceeded worldwide luxurious model Chanel’s lipstick, which bought for under 5,270 yen (RMB 315) on Amazon Japan.
Our greater value didn’t have an effect on the passion of Japanese shoppers and the “Concentric Lock Lipstick” entered the highest three listing of hourly lipstick gross sales on Amazon Japan on the primary day of its launch.
Although Florasis’ battleground is principally on-line, will you incorporate conventional channels similar to bodily outlets, outside and TV into your general technique?
In Florasis’ view, there isn’t any distinction between conventional and new channels – they’re all a part of built-in advertising and marketing.
Building a model has at all times been a gradual course of however in 2017, this notion was shattered in China as disruptor manufacturers, together with Florasis in Hangzhou, emerged in the market and accomplished their brand-building journey in a mean of two years to turn into an web hit producing tons of of thousands and thousands in gross sales amid fierce competitors. Can you share with us your brand-building reminiscences from the early days of your corporation?
Most memorable was once we launched our first “sculpted” lipstick that includes Chinese magnificence motifs really micro-engraved on the lipstick itself. The sculpted lipstick was un precedent – it was the world’s first mixture of Oriental makeup innovation and Chinese manufacturing capabilities.
Florasis has at all times been dedicated to the promotion of Oriental magnificence and our branding is distinct due to our emphasis on photographs related with conventional China. We initially had combined emotions as a result of technical difficulties growing the sculpted lipstick however we did not surrender and persevered to beat the percentages.
The model positioning of Florasis is described in eight phrases: 东方彩妆,以花养妆 (Oriental-style make-up, nourished with flowers).
Firstly, we wish to give Chinese custom a trendy twist and create makeup merchandise with Chinese cultural traits.
Secondly, we wish to use flowers and floral extracts as substances in our makeup composition as a result of they’re secure, delicate, light and skin-friendly. They additionally produce a extra pure and flattering look.

The Florasis co-founder

How is Florasis forging direct client relationships which can be trusted and value-driven?
In the method of constructing client relationships, Florasis has at all times thought of the top consumer to be one of the crucial essential companions in the event of the model. As you may see, throughout our product improvement course of, we invited shoppers to offer us their opinions straight, which was very priceless to us. Whether it’s earlier than or after a product launch, Florasis at all times listens to our customers and rewards them with the most effective merchandise upon their suggestions. For instance, the Florasis unfastened powder puff was once white; many customers commented that as a result of each the powder and the puff are white, it was not potential to see the powder on the puff clearly and management the quantity taken. We took their issues into consideration.
The channels by means of which Florasis communicates straight with customers embrace SMS, our cell app, our WeChat customer support and so on.
As lengthy as you’re a Florasis consumer, your opinion might be heard.
In addition to offering merchandise and product tutorials, we additionally paid consideration to our customers and their every day lives, particularly throughout pure disasters and excessive climate once we will ship messages expressing solidarity.
As an rising “disruptor model”, what features of larger, older manufacturers do you worth most and what would you wish to be taught from extra established rivals?
The Florasis workforce is guided by long-termism and gross sales is just not the principle aim. This yr, on the event of our fourth anniversary, Florasis introduced our model imaginative and prescient of selling Oriental magnificence for 100 years. Our aim is to turn into a century-old, nationwide makeup model. On Weibo, our anniversary hashtag reads “Florasis is 96 years away from being a 100-year-old model”.
In the long run, Florasis will look as much as precise century-old manufacturers as our lecturers and at all times have a humble coronary heart and reverence.
You say that Florasis is just not sales-oriented however each model is certain to face the strain of KPIs, particularly in post-pandemic financial situations. How do you cut back the affect of the COVID-19 disaster on the model and its market share?
From its inception, Florasis has had six key pillars of progress:

Insistence on Oriental heritage
Insistence on artisanal analysis and improvement
Insistence on flower-based makeup
Insistence on consumer co-creation
Insistence on high quality service
Insistence on social accountability

These six pillars have introduced Florasis to the place it’s right this moment and will take it into the long run.

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