Aesop and Body Shop owner Natura sees SEA as the epicentre of its global expansion plans
In September, the Brazilian company announced plans to form a new subsidiary in Singapore to manage its brands Aesop and The Body Shop.
“This region is very important for us, not just for growth but also to help us learn more about consumers that are becoming more and more sophisticated. Singapore is a very important hub for this region. Not only does it connect nearby countries, but it also is a place to create brand awareness for the region,” said Daniel Silveira, head of Natura International.
Silveira told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the company had “ambitious” goal of expanding into around 70 markets worldwide in the next 10 years and SEA was crucial to its plans.
This month, the firm launched its Natura brand in Malaysia, further strengthening its ties to the region.
The brand will be available via Natura’s e-commerce platform and its pop-up store in Sunway Mall, a popular shopping destination located in Kuala Lumpur.
“Our approach is to create an omnichannel experience. We started with e-commerce and we are using the pop-up to present the brand to consumers while we select the best locations to open our [brick-and-mortar] stores beginning next year,” said Silveira.
Silveira said the company chose to launch in Malaysia because it hopes to tap into the “melting pot” of ethnicities and cultures.
“These are exciting consumers that are becoming more sophisticated. In Malaysia, women spend more than nine hours on social networks. We believe this could be a very interesting opportunity for us also,” he added.
Silveira elaborated that the company would be rolling out a digital platform next year to tap into social selling and “better serve” its consumers.
“We have a very important digital platform that takes care of the e-commerce and social selling that is coming up beginning next year. It will provide a platform and mobile tools to ramp up social selling. We have a special model that attracts and remunerate people that love our products and want to share it through social media.” said Silveira.
Expanding further into SEA
After Malaysia, Silveira said the company plans to expand Natura to neighbouring countries in SEA, where it is confident its products will be well-received with consumers.
“We believe our products are very suitable for SEA especially because the weather is similar to Brazil. Consumers give us a lot of good feedback on things like our light textures. Also, there’s a demand for more natural products with natural ingredients that drive results.”
He added that the firm is paying close attention to regional consumers to launch more products that will resonate with South East Asians, such as face masks, which are more popular here than the Latin America region.
Another area the company is planning to focus on is its sustainability, which it believes is a massive concern for South East Asian consumers.
Silveira said the B Corp-certified company is continuing to push itself hard to be sustainable by looking into packaging for instance.