Branding: L’Occitane in China: do organic and natural products appeal to Chinese consumers?
With numerous ads and campaigns in China raising awareness against environmental pollution, organic and natural skincare products have started to become popular among the Chinese. Indeed, while in earlier years it wasn’t a priority for cosmetic brands to focus on its environment-friendly and green image; it’s slowly starting to change: L’Occitane en Provence, a French skincare brand that takes pride in producing made in France products such as their popular almond supple skin oil or their shea butter handcream, is becoming huge in China.
L’Occitane expansion in China
Launched in 2005 across Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and having already opened shops in Japan and Korea, L’Occitane is today following its success story in Asia and planning to open a virtual store on Alibaba’s famous T-Mall. So how exactly did L’Occitane appeal to the Chinese clientele, and succeed in finding a name for itself between brands belonging to larger companies such as Origins, Aveda, and Kiehl’s ?
Adaptation of branding strategy in China
As opposed to more high-end brands like Lancôme, Laneige, or SK-II, L’Occitane decided to keep its original skincare line and image: simple, fresh and authentic; just like its official name, L’Occitane en Provence, translated phonetically as 歐舒丹（Ou Shu Dan). Instead of adapting L’Occitane’s brand image to fit the standards of Asian cosmetics, Geiger decided to keep the company’s authentic range of products and marketing strategy. Of course it was risky, seeing as how rival companies hadn’t taken this turn, but the risk proved to be worth taking in the end.
A museum to conclude the branding strategy in China
Today having Japan as its number one market and China not far behind, L’Occitane is growing ever so rapidly in Asia. It’s even attracting tourists to visit Provence and the large lavender fields used by L’Occitane’s usine to produce their famous lavender line, and of course to visit the L’Occitane museum.
Branding and image in China _ JX Paulin