Year of growth: Basic Theory looks towards business expansion after COVID-19 drives sales up by over 30% in 2020

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Basic Theory is looking to launch a raft of new products and expand into new Asian markets. [Basic Theory]
Basic Theory is looking to launch a raft of new products and expand into new Asian markets. [Basic Theory]

Related tags: Skin care, Body care, self-care, wellness, Singapore, COVID-19

Singapore natural and organic beauty brand Basic Theory is looking to launch a raft of new products and expand into new Asian markets to maintain 2020’s momentum where it saw a 30% surge in sales.

The brand was founded in 2015 to fill a gap in the market for personal care products made with natural and organic ingredients.

Co-founder Toh Sin Yee told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that in the past five years, the company has experienced steady but slow growth.

“Back then in 2015 it was quite tough. There was very little awareness about natural products or local products. Also, people weren’t keen on products like body polish because they think it’s an extra step and a hassle.”

Additionally, the company struggled to build a rapport with its consumers. “We found out that locals did not support local brands that much because there was no trust. They trusted the international brands that were already more established,” ​said Toh.

However, the change in consumer habits brought about by the COVID-9 pandemic saw the brand experience unprecedented interest that resulted in sales growth of more than 30%.

“People began to stay at home more and they found more time for themselves. This has promoted an interest in wellness and self-care. Suddenly, the concept of slow living was interesting,” ​said Toh.

Furthermore, Toh believes there is generally more awareness of natural and organic ingredients and local brands.

“There are definitely more brands like us in the market and I’m quite happy to see that because this means people are growing more aware about local, natural brands and also sustainability which also plays a big part in our brand. And with the interest in slow living, it’s definitely the right time for our brand now.”

Riding the wave

In the new year, the firm intends to use the momentum of its 2020 growth to expand the business.

The firm’s main focus is launching new face and body care products to expand its offerings which currently only consists of five products available in different variations.

Among the new launches will be a range of facial oils the company hopes to launch in the next few months, said Toh.

Additionally, the company intends to expand the business internationally and into markets such as Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam.

“Vietnam is a very interesting market, but more importantly, we are already getting sales from Vietnam, which is we are looking into the market. However, there is a language barrier so markets like Taiwan may be easier for us to enter,”​ said Toh.

Despite the pandemic, the firm believes the company will benefit from expanding into offline retail outlets.

“Based on our past experience, it’s important to have a centralised location where people can buy and try. One limitation of being online is that people can’t do that. People usually ask for samples, but we believe it’s a waste of resources.”

It is currently working on finding stockists in Taiwan, which managed to avoid a national lockdown in 2020 with its vigorous response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Toh told us the company does not intend to rev up on marketing, noting that the company has never relied on marketing dollars to gain traction.

The company has engaged in influencer marketing in the past but felt it was not as effective as promoting the brand themselves and let the brand grow organically.

“Mostly we did email marketing and engaged with our consumers through social media. This allows us to stay authentic to our target audience. Authenticity is very important for our branding, especially since we have to compete with brands that already have an established relationship with the customer.”

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