‘Not just selling product’: PMD Beauty rejigs Asia strategy to focus on brand building for long-term success
Speaking exclusively to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Mike Alexander, VP of sales, said the brand was emphasising brand building in the next 12 months.
Pre-pandemic, the Utah-based company enjoyed sales success in Asian markets such as China and South Korea. However, its focus on moving products proved to be unsustainable, especially with the strains of COVID-19.
The brand experienced short-lived success selling its products on Korea’s home shopping channels.
“A few years back, we partnered with the top home shopping channel. I think we sold 50,000 units and we had millions of dollars in revenue. We thought Korea was going to be a huge part – a pillar of our Asian business. Then, the buyer said they were bringing on another beauty device and it pretty much ended abruptly,” said Alexander.
The brand had a similar experience in China, distributing its products via cross-border e-commerce.
“We had a lot of opportunities to work with KOLs on Tmall and we would sell 7,000 or 8,000 units very quickly. But we didn’t have a base, we didn’t even have a flagship store on Tmall.”
While the firm moved “tonnes and tonnes” of volume, PMD Beauty struggled to retain consumers, said Alexander.
“There weren’t customers coming back to buy more, because there wasn’t even a place for them to buy from.”
In today’s post-COVID landscape, PMD Beauty sees ample opportunity to push forward in Asia, an important skin care market.
“We feel that, as the economy levels our post-COVID, that we have opportunities in a lot of these markets – Japan, Korea, China and South East Asia – to bring our great products to them,” said Alexander.
“Now we have a more sophisticated strategy. It's going to take longer but it's also going to last longer. And that's the goal, to develop the brand the right way and not just go in and sell a whole bunch of products.
“We want to make sure we have the best partnerships and can provide the best value to our customers. It’s not about a short-term win, we want to start building the foundational pieces for the PMD business.”
Room to grow
PMD Beauty rose to fame for its at-home microdermabrasion devices but has since diversified with the launch of new categories, like its facial cleansing devices.
Alexander noted that the cleansing device market was bigger in Asia and consumers were more familiar with such products.
However, the company was eyeing opportunities in the at-home microdermabrasion category.
“People in Asia may not be as familiar with microdermabrasion devices as they would facial cleansing devices. In the US, people have been getting them done for 50 or 60 year and using one at home may not be as intimating,” said Alexander.
“While it may be easier to sell cleansing devices, in the long term, the microdermabrasion is part of our business, it’s a huge pillar of who we are as a brand. And so, we're still focusing on developing and growing that in Asia.”
Furthermore, the company is looking at how it can develop products based on the needs and concerns of Asian consumers.
“We’re watching things closely, we’ve pulled Tmall analytics, we’re looking into analytics for other different markets, and we’re trying to develop products so that we’re staying current with the trends,” said Alexander.
He revealed that the company is set to introduce a few new innovations and enter new categories this year. He added that it has been also been developing some new products for South Korea.
“We're developing a new some new products for Korea based on the trends that are happening in the market, but that’s confidential right now.”