A French-based company, Cosmetics 27 is a brand which specialises in natural skincare products that “specifically target skin regeneration and health”.
It’s a brand which has microbiome-related products, as well as a strong anti-pollution and naturals focus. It also offers cosmeceuticals as a key part of its portfolio.
Find the companion article to this one here.
Which markets are you active in, and why? Do you have plans to expand?
Mainly the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and France with a solid base. We are present in about 10 markets (aside from local retailers in some other markets).
The brand has had a “slow build“, this was the way I wanted it as well as the only way to remain independent which was important to anchor and develop my concept and products.
When you are a small independent brand, all you have for you is you! So my biggest assets are my products!
That’s what we’ve done in those markets where we have a solid, loyal base of partners and consumers.
I believe the growth in these key markets is due to the quality of our partners and the education we provide and our partners provide in turn.
Skin care requires educated advice. I will take the example of Mecca, in Australia, which has been a great and growing partner for us, an “independent brand”. They have a unique education department which many retailers should get inspired by! The same goes for Le Bon Marché, in Paris, where we just launched.
Their new “Petite Epicerie” concept is growing fast and they are now integrating new brands responding to their clientele new demand.
They have excellent and very well trained staff, they do not launch without proper training and we intend on educating on an ongoing base. It makes a difference and grows consumer reassurance and loyalty.
Which retail channels do you use, and why?
The advantage of being independent (there a few!) is that you have no market constraints, in the beginning.
You are not tied to one retail channel and, for most my contemporary and the new brands, we are babies of the beauty e-tail, and we’ve grown & learned with them, and learned a lot with them.
My philosophy is that we go with the partners who understand, work on and sell skincare.
It goes from some pharmacies, those who can sell higher prices dermo-cosmetics, to traditional perfumeries, medispas and skin clinics (we offer professional/cabin treatment and provide education), beauty e-tailers (the Hutgroup is a partner) …
Consumers shop transversally, so we have to be accessible where they expect to find us.
As an example, I am more careful about concept stores (excluding beauty concept stores such as Credo, Detox Market), most are not staffed or equipped to sell more technical skincare, they sell a hype product like an accessory.
The only concept store where we really sold skincare was Colette with the BeautyBox and was our partner for 8 years!
What do you think will be the most exciting trends in the industry in the coming year?
I would refer to my previous answer, a change of skincare paradigm and an evolution of the mindset of large groups which has already started, I think!
Infuse that with the power that the biotech research, artificial intelligence and ingredients companies a fuelling in the industry that has been cruising for too many years and I think it will be a different market!
Key facts and figures?
Five employees with me, 120 points of sales (including e-tailers) worldwide with growing average turnover. Retail turnover passed 1M € last year.
We have plans to accelerate the business growth starting this year with the arrival of a new (French!) private investor, as well as a new partner who will join me to manage the business international development with some new markets signed for this year.
Any other thoughts?
We, independent brands and others, have to be fast yet know how to take time. That is probably my biggest lesson over the past years.
Just as an example, I started developing the new Crème Bio-logique 27 which we just launched, in 2015 to launch in 2016. I finalized the formula in 2017.
The formula targets pollution prevention, hydration and skin ecosystem balance… I thought it would be old news by 2018! The three topics are probably among the top and key trends this year and for some time!