▷ [Interview] How to grow a historical brand in niche cosmetics?

I interviewed Olga de Nikitina, President of Klytia Paris since 2019. Klytia is a luxury cosmetics brand that specializes in chronobiology. In this interview, Olga narrates the brand’s marketing strategy with the importance of development in China. We also discuss the renewed fame which is a key issue for Clytea in the coming months…

What is Clytia’s story?

Klytia is a historical brand, founded in Paris in 1895 by a businesswoman. It is the brand that originated the world’s first beauty institute.

Klytia achieved success at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was already exported to more than 40 countries around the world (Vietnam, China, Egypt, Mexico, Spain, etc.) when there was no internet yet.

What was your priority when you took office in 2019?

We acquired the brand right before Covid started. During Covid, we have taken the time to update our cosmetic ranges. In terms of marketing and distribution, we started in China with online distributors.

You should know that our logistics system allows us to deliver anywhere in the world. Then we implemented Chinese translation and payment methods on our website.

Of course we are on Chinese social networks like Weibo or Wechat and Red Book because in China they don’t have the same networks as us. We took advantage of Covid to create our accounts on it.

Gradually, our online stores have been placed in China for you to go skateboarding.

What are your goals in the French market?

We want to be positioned in B2B luxury e-commerce platforms, which matches our product suite.

Today, the brand is in French beautya marketplace that helps us sell our products to professionals.

At B2C, we initially aim for fame rather than profitability.

What works for us are the influencers, whether on networks or on YouTube.

We also have a lot of traffic that comes from our Instagram account. We run competitions and even partnerships with other industries like the hotel industry to cater to our audiences.

We are also using Pinterest more and more and want to keep developing it. Using Pinterest, we can show different things like packaging.

Do you measure the different sources of traffic?

Pinterest brings us a lot of traffic from the United States. In France, there are more Facebook and Instagram. The problem with Instagram is that the traffic is less targeted.

There are several levels of participation depending on the traffic sources. This is important to distinguish between customers who came to buy and who came to discover products.

What have you put in place to retain your customers?

In terms of loyalty, we have email campaigns. We offer deals on a regular basis, especially during important events such as sales.

We’ve also set up automated sequences after purchasing or leaving your cart with Sendinblue. The advantage of this tool is that it is easy to use.

If you had to remember one thing you put together that works really well?

I think it’s the small, almost unprofessional, visual campaigns that we prepare and broadcast on our networks. Little things or not captured with Photoshop, it’s all about showing things as they are.

We also realize that people need to see who they look like in the countryside. It is more interesting than a perfect model without any flaws. Consumers get to know more about these people.

Do you do marketing at home?

At the moment we are starting to do this internally, but we also have independent service providers to manage the site. It is true that the company is starting to take on a rather heavy workload, so we plan to take on an agency in the coming months.

This would be primarily to manage our campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, and then to gradually add Google Ads. Sometime it is good to outsource this part.

Why Facebook Ads Instead of Google Ads?

On Google, if a consumer searches for a moisturizer, they will probably see 1,000 results. And if the brand is not yet known, I don’t think he will go to that brand. It is best to post the message first with visuals, photos, before and after, etc.

We also specialize in chronobiology, and that requires explaining what it is.

Is the goal to outsource everything?

I think we’ll keep some of the internal communications like texts, because it’s important to maintain control over the message. We are in the best position to see how the brand is evolving, and what you want to achieve over the next two to six months.

What criteria will you choose the agency that will accompany you?

The ideal is an agency specialized in our field (cosmetics), which already has the expertise and experience to know how consumers interact with this type of product. I also know that there are more agencies that specialize in Facebook ads. These are the criteria that are important to us.

conclusion

I like to learn from the discussion. Here’s what you can remember:

  • Covid has upended our way of working. And like any unexpected event, you have to use it to move forward. Klytia worked on her lines while production was in slow motion;
  • The best market is not necessarily local. Klytia makes a significant portion of its sales (CA) with China;
  • Ecommerce platforms are a fun way to supplement your sales volume without having to go through marketing actions. Klytia is placed on platforms specializing in luxury cosmetics, which corresponds to its position;
  • Each communication channel positions itself differently with regard to conversion. At Klytia, Instagram is a channel that brings traffic, but little conversion;
  • Authenticity is the key to modern communication. Klytia enhances communication with little or no Photoshop as well as instant content;
  • Facebook or Google ads don’t have the same issues. When one starts from consumer demand, the other has to create desire. Klytia prefers to raise awareness on Facebook before moving on to Google;
  • A brand message is fundamental to communication. Brands can be wary of outsourcing. Klytia wants to keep control of him.

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