Fight the fear: HK brand specialising in natural deo seeking entry into new markets
The brand was founded around two years ago by Anita Patel and Sheetal Avlani, who observed a need for more deodorant options in the market.
“For me personally conventional deodorants were not working. I found myself reapplying very often. I just felt gross. I finally gave up and sought an alternative,” said Patel.
She told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the search for a solution was tough simply because they were not many options available in the market outside of conventional deodorant brands.
“When we first started out in this industry, it dawned on us that it was a big problem. People told us that they have such a big issue with body odour that they have to go to the bathroom to wipe themselves down often because there's this big fear,” said Patel.
She continued: “Body odour is a big concern among consumers because its linked to self-confidence and self-esteem. Some of our customers tell us that it’s something they've been embarrassed to discuss even to their closest friends or family.”
The brand started with a cream deodorant and later launched a stick version in a paper tube.
It also launched a unique detox product to help new users transition from conventional deodorant to natural deodorant.
“Transitioning from conventional to natural deodorant can cause skin irritation, so we created a solution to that with a detox pack. It's not something you need to rebuy, you just need to use it once,” Patel explained.
A small pool
The products were a hit among the expat community in Hong Kong, said Patel. However, they faced a roadblock with the locals.
“We’re definitely hindered by the size of the [Hong Kong] market. In addition to that, deodorants aren’t very popular among locals, in fact most of them don’t use it,” she said.
Patel attributed this to genetics. “What’s really interesting is that [East Asians] are less prone to body odour, so because locals’ sweat doesn’t smell, they don’t have a need for deodorant.”
With a significant chunk of the market gone, the company decided to try and capture the market by expanding the line with skin care products.
“We had to increase the product line so naturally we moved into skin care because that was what our customers were asking for. We launched the face wash, cream and mist so now more people and enjoy our products,” said Patel.
She added that the company has observed great feedback and plans to continue expanding the line.
“The outcome of the skin care launch was very good, so we are going to expand the line even more. We have a face serum and face masks which will be launched very soon this year.”
However, Patel revealed that the company has its sights set on expanding overseas to widen its potential.
With its popularity among expats in Hong Kong, the company is confident its products will resonate with consumers in markets such as Europe, North America and Australia.
Currently, the firm is working on an Australian expansion, as it is closer to Hong Kong, said Patel.
“We need to push a lot more! We will be participating in fairs in Australia to get more exposure. We also want to increase our marketing presence through social media.”