Meeth was founded a year ago by Sonmi, a local model and celebrity. The brand claims to offer safe yet high-performing products backed by cutting-edge Japanese innovation.
Though relatively new in the market, the brand is now raking in around USD1m a month in sales in Japan alone.
“Meeth is a star in the industry,” said Adrian Roche, a director and shareholder in the company.
“One of the things we notice is that 90% of the brands in Japan don't make it by the end of the year because there are so many new products and people are so selective but what they want to put on their face. Meeth basically cleared the first year and is still expanding and doing really well.”
Roche credited the brand’s success to the quality and efficacy of its products.
“We succeeded because we had a certain level of technology that returns good results. At the end of the day that's the reality; people are going to give you one try, but if you don't deliver the results, they won't give you a second chance. That’s why we are confident that we can do this.”
Within the company’s first year it has expanded to Taiwan, China, and most recently, Singapore.
“We were getting orders from Singapore despite not having an English website. People were dealing with translation issues and still somehow manage to order our products. We saw a need and that’s why we expanded into Singapore.”
Not just another ‘celebrity brand’
Unlike its launch in Japan, the brand could not leverage Sonmi’s celebrity to kick it off the ground in overseas markets.
“When Sonmi created the brand, she started to promote it on Instagram – and that was all she needed to do. It was harder outside of Japan. In Taiwan, we did a lot of PR and the media picked it up. We were on television and printed publications, that’s what helped the brand take off,” said Roche.
To raise the brand’s awareness in Singapore, Roche said the brand is engaging in digital marketing.
“For Taiwan, we did it without much thought and said we’d see how it goes. For Singapore we have more of a methodology in place – we are following the manual. We’ve put a website together; we’re running paid social media ads, and now we're moving into PR.”
With Singapore as a base in the ASEAN region, the company plans to expand into neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
“In the next 12 months, we want to develop the market in Singapore more. Of course, we want to expand. We want to look into Malaysia, perhaps Indonesia as well. As far as we know, we are halal compliant, but we need to get the certification,” said Roche
He noted that it was important for the brand to acquire halal certification for Indonesia especially as it is an important factor for a majority of consumers there.
The company hopes to expand to more markets gradually and has its eyes set on the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Most importantly, the brand aims to become a recognised player in the industry that is known for the quality of its products, rather than the celebrity that backs it.
“Sonmi’s final goal is to take this brand forward in such a way that it exists beyond her celebrity. She wants the brand to last at least 100 years.”