Skin beauty revival: Shiseido outlines plans for key brands as it seeks to recover from COVID-19 slump

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

 Shiseido Company has highlighted its plans for its key brands as it focuses on building a powerful portfolio centred on skin beauty. [Shiseido]
Shiseido Company has highlighted its plans for its key brands as it focuses on building a powerful portfolio centred on skin beauty. [Shiseido]

Related tags Shiseido Skin care wellness

Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Company has highlighted its plans for its key brands like SHISEIDO and ELIXIR as it focuses on building a powerful portfolio centred on skin beauty.

Shiseido posted its financial results for 2020 on February 9, where it also revealed its strategy to usher the brand towards a full recovery.

Among the many changes in the global beauty market post-COVID-19, Shiseido expects to see an increased awareness of skin health, creating multiple opportunities for the company.

“The awareness of healthy skin is going to be an important aspect of skin care... They say skin is the barometer for your body’s physical health and condition so we feel that awareness of healthy skin will increase,”​ said CEO Masahiko Uotani during the company’s earnings conference.

This trend will also lead to a more holistic view on skin care, including factors such as diet and sleep to improve the quality of skin, he said.

In this environment, the company will be focusing on skin beauty as one of its key mid-to-long term strategies, where it hopes to make a full recovery by 2023.

“For 2023, skin beauty will be the core of our business. And with net sales, we want to aim for about one trillion yen. And of course, due to the different trends, the sales may drop slightly from now from 2019, but we do want to continue to aim for a higher OPM with high productivity,”​ said Uotani.

Some areas where the company intends to innovate in are sun care and make-up categories, where it hopes to develop products that also have skin care benefits.

Additionally, the company also sees potential in beauty devices as well as ingestibles, which will be key to inner-beauty innovations.

“Our sales ratio right now is at 60% in 2019, we want to lift it to 80%. This is an important strategy or direction for Shiseido,”​ said Uotani.

SHISEIDO focus on holistic beauty

A huge part of this strategy is the company’s existing portfolio of brands, such as its flagship brand, SHISEIDO.

“We want to make [SHISEIDO] into a holistic beauty brand. The foundation of this is science, immunology or improving the blood flow. So based on life science, skin care – that has been the background of the big success of Ultimune, and we want to continue to improve on that,” ​said Uotani.

He added that the brand is reinforcing its men’s skin care category as well with the relaunch of its SHISEIDO men’s series, that is launching worldwide from March onwards.

The range will include SHISEIDO MEN Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate as well as four make-up products.

SHISEIDO men’s will target three weaknesses the firm has previously identified in male skin: inferior defensive power, lower antioxidant capacity and inability to resist and recover from damage.

To promote the line, the brand is collaborating with sports team FC Barcelona and has named player Sergi Roberto as its partnership ambassador.

“To continue marketing and to heighten the brand power, we have decided to sponsor FC Barcelona. In China it's said that there are a few hundred million fans of FC Barcelona, so we think it could be sensational in terms of the marketing,”​ said Uotani.

The partnership with FC BARCELONA kicked off in early 2021 and will runs for two years through to December 2022 across Japan, Greater China, Italy and Spain.

As part of the agreement, SHISEIDO MEN will produce a co-branded content series with the club revolving around the players’ lifestyle and a movie featuring Roberto.

The company teased that it would be launching products with second skin technology, a breathable, flexible and nearly invisible artificial skin that it acquired in 2018 from Olivo Laboratories.

Additionally, the brand will also focus on sustainability with farm-to-face products as well as the expansion of its Ultimune refill initiative.

Untapped potential for IPSA, Drunk Elephant and more

Uotani highlighted that the company sees a lot of expansion potential for other brands in its portfolio, such as IPSA as well as Drunk Elephant.

“We feel there’s a lot of potential for IPSA. It's centred around Japan and China but in the future, we would like to expand further in Asia as well as potentially in EMEAs and Americas. And two years ago, we acquired a Drunk Elephant. We launched in Germany, and it is doing well, and we would like to accelerate launches in EMEA and Asia, including Japan.”

For its skin care brand ELIXIR, Shiseido is also looking to expand its footprint in China, where it has had a lot of success and further the expansion into the rest of Asia.

The brand is also focusing on sustainability and has collaborated with the children’s cartoon character Doraemon to push the brand’s refill programme.

With its popular sun care brand Anessa, Shiseido is hopeful the brand will see a recovery from its year of struggles due to COVID-19 and has lined-up a collaboration with Nintendo’s Pokemon to boost demand.

The company will also work to develop emerging categories with its newest brands such as Baum, a skin care brand focused on the ‘Power of Trees’, as well as EFFECTIM, which focuses on beauty devices.

Shiseido believes both brands whole tremendous potential in China and will be launching them in the market soon.

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