BLOG: Top tips for taking the international market by storm, from PharmaClinix founder Shashi Gossan
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. Here, in the first of two blogs, she gives her top tips on how to break into the international market place and grow a brand to success.
The PharmaClinix® brand was originally launched in 2006, in our One Stop Health & Beauty Clinic in Kensington, London. As the products are specifically designed for darker skin tones, which are notoriously harder to treat that white skin tones, they soon became very popular amongst the Asian and Arabic community. As my end market user is very niche, it meant that my plan for rapid expansion was very targeted. It is this, along with a series of other factors, that I attribute to the success of the PharmaClinix brand to date.
USE YOUR CONTACTS
As I’m a chemist by trade, and have been for over 30 years, I have very strong contacts with various pharmaceutical wholesalers. After originally launching the PharmaClinix brand at my One Stop Health & Beauty Clinic in Kensington, I called upon these contacts to initially launch my range into other independent pharmacies.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
As the PharmaClinix range has been catered for such a specific group of persons, I wanted my launch campaign to be equally targeted. One of the first advertising campaigns that I employed was on the Asian TV channel, which put my product right in front of my target market. The success of this, teamed with my pharmaceutical wholesalers contacts, meant that in just six months we were supplying our products to over 1,000 pharmacies across the UK.
One of my contacts then suggested that I should advertise in Gulf Air magazine, as they were writing a special feature on skincare for Middle Eastern woman. Following this article, we were approached by the Nasser Pharmacy group in Bahrain to import and sell the range in their numerous pharmacy outlets.
EXHIBIT AT TRADE SHOWS
In order to showcase your brand to the world market, it is imperative to exhibit at international conferences to highlight the advantages of your brand against any other established companies. Two years after our initial launch, PharmaClinix exhibited at the Dubai Derma conference, and then in Beautyworld, Middle East. It was here that major buyers approached us from other Middle East countries, which resulted in exports throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Today, we still regularly exhibit at shows including Professional Beauty, Cosmoprof and Face London.
INCREASE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
As people now fully research and familiarise themselves with a product before committing to buying it, having an informative website is vital. As internet purchases have grown rapidly in the past five years, this unfortunately means that the era of impulse-buying is over.
As well as having an easy to navigate website, it’s important to boost your online presence. For this, I employed an external internet consulting firm which really helped to increase our SEO and make the PharmaClinix brand more visible to my target customers.
Social media is also incredibly important; it’s a tool that we have adopted in the last two years to increase awareness of events and special offers, in order to attract new customers.
Shasi will be back next month with part two of her blog and more tips on how to find success in an international market.