Lime Crime, the cruel-free cosmetic company based in Los Angeles, California created a unique marketing approach for launching the product line in China. This was a response to the obstacles facing the company in this country. Kim Walls, the Global Manager for Lime Crime discussed the complications that were facing the organization of the National Retail Federations (NRF) shop conference in Los Angeles. Walls states “Looking at China, one of the things I know based on prior experience is that we couldn’t sell in any of the ways that I know how to sell.”
There was one potential barrier to selling the products overseas and that was the mandate that required all wholesale cosmetics that are being sold to be first tested on animals. This law was a unique hurdle to avoid but would, in the end, prove to be a surmountable obstacle to overcome.
Due to the company’s animal- loving cruel-free policy, animal testing was not a viable option for them so they found a loophole; ship the product directly from the United States. This loophole seemed like an easy fix but it also came with another set of problems; managing taxes, returns and customer inquiries in a foreign language, and instances of counterfeit product distribution were on the other end of this resolution. “We found that we had over a million units of our lip topper product that were counterfeit sold through marketplaces in China last year,” said Walls. The solution to that problem was to partner with Revolve, a Los Angeles based e-commerce.
For the launching of the beauty line, the cosmetic company decided to plant a “seed audience” which encouraged potential customers to visit Revolve’s e- commerce service. The agenda was to establish Revolve as the only legitimate source for buying the beauty products in the country.
Another marketing tactic that set the stage for the organization’s successful product launching was the early availability of the products for existing fans of the cosmetic line. The products became available two hours before the official release.
In addition to product accessibility, the beauty company chose to partner with influencers who may not have been the most well-known contributors, but are better representatives of the brand. “For us, its most critical to … actually [generate] content with our product that looks like it would fit with our brand.” Says Walls.