Steady as she goes: European brands must take measured approach to Asia entry – Orientana

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

European brands must take measured approach to Asia entry – Orientana

Related tags Natural beauty market Japan Poland

Owner of Polish beauty brand Orientana says the company is careful not to rush its expansion into the ‘never-ending’ Asian market.

Founded a decade ago by Anna Wasilewska and husband Krzysztof Wasilewski, Orientana claims to be one of the most established natural beauty brands from Poland.

The brand distinguishes itself from the competition by utilising Asian botanical ingredients such as ashwagandha, neem, ginseng and turmeric in its skin, body and hair care products.

Wasilewski told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the brand enjoys a very strong position in Poland and is now seeking to export its products out into other European countries and Asia.

“We want to expand the business into other European countries like Germany, the UK, France and Italy. We are looking outside of Europe as well. There’s still a lot of space for expansion into Asia… It’s like this never-ending land.”

Orientana has yet to enter the Asian market but the company has recently begun participating in exhibitions and trade shows in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan.

“We selected these markets because they are the big markets that we want to grow our presence in,” ​said Wasilewski.

Go with the flow

Orientana participated in Japanese trade fair Cosme Tokyo this year for a second time. Wasilewski said the Japanese market was a particularly important Asian market for the company’s strategic plans to further growth.

“Japan is the top market for cosmetics in Asia. Here, cosmetic spending per capita is much higher than other Asian countries. We are in Japan again to familiarise the market with our brand and show that we are really committed to building a business here in Japan,”​ he elaborated.

However, Wasilewski noted that the company does not plan to rush headlong into Japan, despite the many opportunities it presents.

“For Asia, having a steady approach is much more important than a rapid entry. There’s quite a difference in culture between Europe and Asia. You have to prove consistently that you are focused and have a high commitment to entering the market. You can’t push it; you have to let it flow.”

One of the strengths of Orientana is its long history in cosmetics, said Wasilewski.

“Asian consumers are very demanding. They require high-quality products and they ask about what’s in your products. They really take care to find out about what’s going on their skin. One thing is that they trust brands with history and a proven track record, which is what we have.”

Aside from Japan, the company is also looking into Indonesia and Malaysia, where the booming population of middle-income consumers is presenting new opportunities, especially in the natural beauty space.

“There’s potentially a high volume of demand for natural cosmetics because the trend is growing in that region,”​ said Wasilewski.

From the feedback the company has gotten so far from various shows in Asia, Wasilewski believes Asian consumers will respond well to the brand and its products.

“We use Asian ingredients, but the formulas are our own and it’s made in Europe. Our products have that European touch. We are creating new value for the consumer by taking the best from various parts of the world and combining them.”

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