Amore Pacific targets unique positioning in the Colombian skin care market

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Changkoo Lee, Executive VP of the group strategy unit with Amore Pacific Global Operations
Changkoo Lee, Executive VP of the group strategy unit with Amore Pacific Global Operations
As part of plans to expand beyond Asia, South Korean cosmetics player Amore Pacific says Colombia is a likely contender as a new market to enter, and the skin care category should prove the primary aim.

Cosmetics Design recently caught up with Changkoo Lee, executive VP with Amore Pacific Global Operations, in Bogota, during the company’s second reconnaissance mission to the country

In the scond part of this interview, Lee expands on how the company aims to position itself in the market not by adapting to the local beauty culture, but by positioning itself as an Asian skin care provider.

Definitely all about the skin care

“Amore Pacific is more known for skin care, which is a smaller and less developed market in Colombia. We do have successful hair and body care businesses, but in terms of our global business, it is definitely the skin care that we want to develop and grow first,” ​Lee explained.

We asked, what will be the specific approach to developing the skin care category should the company go ahead with its plans to enter the Colombia market?

“When you look at the market in Latin America, it is much more focused on color cosmetics and fragrance, while skin care remains in the background.  Right now the average consumer in Colombia is not as knowledgeable about skin care needs compared to the more developed Asian markets, where skin care is a very important part of the beauty routine. To us, this suggests that there is significant potential for skin care in this market.”

Adapting the portfolio to Colombia won't be hard

Lee went on to explain his belief that adapting the Amore Pacific portfolio to the Latin American markets and specifically the Colombian market would be relatively easy.

“Indeed, if you look at our overall product portfolio, we estimate that around 80% of our products would fit well on retail shelves here. Maybe skin whitening products would not be so popular, but, for example, BB and CC products can be easily adapted to other skin types and tones, so that is not difficult to do.”

Likewise, he also added that there is a keen interest in Korean culture in Latin America that may well translate into an interest in the country’s beauty products, specifically in younger people, who are aware of the vibrant youth culture and the K-Pop phenomenon.

Positioning itself in Colombia as an Asian skin care maker

But despite all the positive indications, positioning the company will be crucial, and here Lee’s team believes that positioning the business as an Asian skin care provider and not trying to blend into the existing cosmetic retail landscape will be the best strategy.

“As a brand new player, we should be different. So we would like to position ourselves as an Asian beauty player, bringing an Asian beauty concept to the country, not trying to adapt so we look like the existing beauty players on that market.”

The final element in the plan will be distribution, and which retail channels to target. Although the brand has garnered significant success in the direct sales channel in Asia, that success is unlikely to be replicated any time soon if the company decides to enter Colombia.

What about distribution?

“Right now we have no distribution whatsoever in this market. We haven’t decided yet about distribution, but to begin with we will need a distribution partner for the first couple of years, while we find our footing.

“Amore Pacific is a wide-reaching brand. We hold mass market, luxury, and young trendy masstige brands. So after fully analyzing the market, we will establish which will be the best channels to target. In Korea we are the number one direct sales player in Korea, but that would be difficult to replicate in a new market because it takes time to establish that sort of business.”

Ultimately the team believes it will be standing out from the competition that will be its defining characteristic and the key to its success.

“Our products are very Korean in character. We are hoping that by explaining what is different about the brand, specifically the architecture and functionality, that we will be able to attract consumers this way.“

Related topics: Business & Financial, Skin Care

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