CHIOTURE (稚优泉) is a Chinese cosmetics brand that focuses on becoming a “Global Cosmetic Fashion Catcher”. It is committed to customizing exclusive makeup for every individual. CHIOTURE integrates trendy colors and eyes-catching elements to create a creative cosmetic brand full of vitality “Lifestyle”.
Source: CHIOTURE, Brand logo
The transformation of CHIOTURE
From 2017 to 2018: 95% of the turnover came from its official store on Tmall (天猫). But the growth in these two years is startling; CHIOTURE Tmall official store sales went from 270 million RMB in 2017 to 760 million in 2018. This three-fold growth brought the brand to rank second among all online Chinese cosmetics brands.
Although make-up accounted for more than 70% of sales, at the beginning, CHIOTURE started as a skin care company. Like most conventional skin care brands, CHIOTURE’s initial product line included cleanser, toner, lotion, cream, occasionally one or two products became best sellers at the time, but the overall performance was mediocre. Among domestic brands, UNIFON (御泥坊) and AFU (阿芙) had already occupied the Chinese skincare market on e-commerce platforms under Alibaba system. CHIOTURE indeed did not stand out.
Source: CHIOTURE, New LOGO which changed the brand image
The tipping point was in 2014. The trend of skincare and Chinese cosmetics integration made many skincare brands try to launch “light makeup” (轻彩妆). CHIOTURE also took advantage of the trend to create a BB air cushion and collaborated with Weibo stars to promote it. This product finally reached over one million sales units.
In 2016, CHIOTURE focused its development on Chinese cosmetics, the year it launched another lipstick product called “Pink Love (粉色之恋)”. This product performed outstandingly well and won the “Tmall Beauty Award (天猫金妆奖)”. After this milestone, CHIOTURE developed the business in the complete category of cosmetics, both make-up and skincare.
Source: CHIOTURE, Pink Love lipstick
The strategies that lead CHIOTURE to success
The CHIOTURE brand director Zhang Chi has a rich experience of management in Chinese cosmetics industry. He has experience in some of the top Chinese cometics and e-commerce brands, and also with some fortune 500s. . His experience across many industries benefitted him to see the advantages and disadvantages of CHIOTURE from multiple perspectives.
“In fact, the strategy and methodology are not difficult. The key is the operational organization. It is difficult for other traditional companies to be as flexible and important as e-commerce companies like us. One of the characteristics of CHIOTURE is that all employees can participate in more important decision-making, which is almost unimaginable for many companies.”Zhang Chi, the Brand Director of CHIOTURE
In contrast from the hierarchical management of traditional enterprises, CHIOTURE’s fast feedback, content communication, and channel promotion communication are all on par with the speed and efficiency of an e-commerce company.
Focusing on creating “viral” products over and over to meet the FMCG requirements of online retail.
“For e-commerce companies, the efficiency of viral products is the highest.”
The strategy of CHIOTURE is to find and establish a more advantageous category, and use viral products to occupy the big market share of the category. After CHIOTURE became popular from its top-seller lipstick in 2016, it has successively launched other popular items in other categories such as makeup remover and eye shadow palettes. Currently, CHIOTURE’s four-color and ten-color eye shadow palettes has been occupying the top 5 of online eye shadow products ranking.
Source: 1haitao, CHIOTURE Viral Products
CHIOTURE’s collaborations with KOLs
As a brand developed from e-commerce, CHIOTURE is more precise in finding and controlling the channels with higher value and lower price. In 2014, when many brands further used official Weibo account as a communication to increase their exposure, CHIOTURE had already cooperated with many celebrities and KOLs, and through their voices on their own Weibo accounts, they guided consumers to spontaneously search and post on e-commerce stores and then make the orders. At that time, because just few brands paid attention to KOL marketing, the lower investment brought great output for CHIOTURE. Since then, whether it is Kuaishou (快手), Tiktok (抖音) or RED (小红书), CHIOTURE was almost the first brand to try the promotion via these newly released social media apps. This brought the Chinese beauty brand higher exposure, early on in the KOL marketing game.
CHIOTURE believes that “the better KOLs collaborate, the better e-commerce brands perform.” Whether it is WeChat, Weibo, RED, or Tiktok, the key platforms for e-commerce brands are different depending on the brands differentiation, but the main point is to influence consumers through the content generated by KOLs. Because of CHOITURE started KOL collaborations at the very beginning of these new marketing channels, CHIOTURE’s advantage is that it has gradually formed its own KOL team and assessment system during the development process. The long-term cooperation and communication have made both parties more and more sticky and more efficient. The success of CHIOTURE also reflects the precision of its brand positioning. Through an efficient organizational structure, the rapid launch of trendy products to consumers is precisely adapted to the consumer demand of the FMCG.
Source: cbndata, KOL demonstrating cosmetics on Douyin
How CHIOTURE maintained long-term stable development after a sudden rise to popularity
As one of the top online beauty brands, the expensive cost of online marketing is also an issue that CHIOTURE must face. Even so, the brand director Zhang Chi explained that the brand still values the relationship with fans and how to strengthen fans’ loyalty to the brand. Thus, as the goal, CHIOTURE’s work is to do a good job in products, services, communication, and content. On the other hand, CHIOTURE tries to develop and cover both online and offline marketing platforms.
In 2018, in addition to the explosive growth in sales, another major achievement was the success in the construction of the WeChat official account and the WeChat mall (微商). Since August 2018, CHIOTURE has built a WeChat official account (微信公众号) with millions of fans in half a year without spending much. According to the results, the sales rate of its WeChat Mall is very impressive as well.
Source: cbndata, WeChat Official Account
At the same time, CHOITURE focused on brand image. Under Zhang Chi’s compulsion, it’s sorted out and upgraded the brand’s structure, brand positioning, and overall brand image last year. To reach consumers, attract consumers, and stimulate them to purchase, the brand and consumers must maintain frequent interactions. In addition, in terms of products, CHIOTURE also continues to cooperate with some international companies to provide them with higher value-added products and services at a price that can be accepted by consumers. This is the core of its continuous construction and development.
How this Chinese beauty brand learned to stand out
To sum up, as one of the first Chinese cosmetics brands on e-commerce, CHIOTURE’s key to success is that it can quickly pinpoint its positioning, which it used to segments lip cosmetics as the main products to promote and stay firm on the market. After the rise to popularity, it became a matter of reacting quickly to the market.
In addition to CHIOTURE, there are many brands which have similar promotion strategies. CHIOTURE’s advantages may gradually weaken. Behind the high growth of strong social and short video media marketing, how the brand can achieve the further goals after winning one category is the question that Chinese cosmetics brands are currently facing, and it is also the question for CHIOTURE to think about.
Author: Shannon Yeh