Entering the burgeoning Chinese market is a strategic move for the US-based skin care brand, where the brand already enjoys a strong following.
“We have been overwhelmed already by the enthusiasm and interest of the Chinese people. We have been getting many requests from our fan base in China asking when we will launch,” said Tiffany Masterson, founder of Drunk Elephant.
She added: “At our recent House of Drunk pop-up in New York last June, we were delighted to see visiting Chinese shoppers stocking up on Drunk Elephant to bring home, which was such an encouraging sign. It’s going to be a thrilling experience to launch in China and we hope we are well-received.”
Drunk Elephant is still relatively new to the Asian market. The brand first expanded into Asia last November with a launch in Singapore via Sephora SEA.
It then extended its reach into Philippines, Malaysia and Hong Kong via Sephora’s online e-commerce platform.
The company further expanded its offline presence in Asia in Hong Kong this September with the relaunch of Sephora Hong Kong.
Products and philosophy
Since its launch in 2012, Drunk Elephant has since garnered cult beauty status for its range of products that are marketed to have ‘clean’ formulations that do not contain ingredients the company deems to be “suspicious”. This includes essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance and SLS.
While Drunk Elephant is considered one of the pioneers in clean beauty, Masterson believes the brand is in a category of its own.
“The category is ‘clean compatible’ and today, we are the only brand in it. There are many ‘clean’ brands, but we believe when it comes to taking care of skin, clean is not enough,” she said.
Masterson believes that the growing interest and awareness of Drunk Elephant among Chinese consumers to largely because they resonate with the brand’s clean philosophy and its efficacy-centred products.
“Our strategy is very simple and it’s the same in every market. We want to share our philosophy and build awareness in order to help people troubleshoot their skin issues,” said Masterson.
However, the company does not advertise as it strongly believes in growing brand awareness organically.
“We rely on consumer word-of-mouth to grow and we don’t advertise. For that reason, we need to make sure we are available to educate and share what we’ve learned with our consumers so that they get the most out of their experience with Drunk Elephant.”
While the opportunities in China are immense, the company does not intend to expand too quickly in the market.
“We like to go very slow with our launches in new markets so we can be sure to get it right,” said Masterson.