BLOG: Top tips for breaking into the international market, by PharmaClinix’ Shashi Gossan

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Award winning chemist Shashi Gossan is the founder of PharmaClinix, a leading cosmeceutical brand scientifically designed for Asian, Arabic & African skin types. Over the past six years, she has grown the brand significantly and it is now available in over 30 countries worldwide and in over 10,000 retail outlets.

Continuing from her first blog, she gives her top tips on how to break into the international market place and grow a brand to success.


As my customers are primarily from non-English speaking countries, I decided to display my products in colourful packaging. This not only makes the products stand out on the shop shelves, but it also means that customers can simply remember the colour of the jar that they have been advised to use when reordering product.

I also chose to keep my brochures and marketing material very simple in terms of design, and have been very transparent regarding the use of ingredients in my products, which helps to attract new users.

Although PharmaClinix products are sold in pharmacies in the UK, in other countries, especially those in the Far East, women tend to seek the professional opinion of their cosmetic dermatologists.

This was an avenue that my team and I explored thoroughly and was a great new tactic to get our product into the hands of the professionals, where they can diagnose skin conditions on one hand and offer a solution on the other, with the help of PharmaClinix.

We also organised for localised competitions to be the ‘Face of PharmaClinix’ when we launched into new territories. The buzz of the model competitions resulted in many editorials and, of course, the opportunity to work with non-professional models in our marketing campaigns, which helped enormously in the early years of budgeting.

To grow and expand the PharmaClinix range, I created two further series to make it accessible and aspirational to all:

The PharmaClinix Silver series is a five-strong economically priced range, which was created for over-the-counter use and could also be sold in the developing countries. The products in the range treat the most common skin problems, and the demand for good cosmeceuticals to treat these skin complaints at a reasonable and affordable price make them a very popular choice.

At the other end of the spectrum is the PharmaClinix Gold series, which is our premium flagship range that has been catered for those who are looking for speedy results and where cost is not the biggest concern.

Another factor to consider is not to launch any products that are too similar to those which are already out there. A product that doesn’t have a real point of difference is bound to fail, as retail and professional outlets are literally flooded with brands from all over the world.

The success of the PharmaClinix brand is down to having a hardworking, dedicated team around me who are equally passionate about the products. My team also shares my interest in wanting to see a real increase in retail sales and to add value to the brand.

It is imperative to stay ahead of your competitors, as brands can often ‘die a slow death’ unless fresh ideas, products and marketing tools are added at regular intervals.

Brand building is certainly challenging and the success is satisfying, but a lot of hard work in terms of time, effort and money has to be invested before you can see real results.