‘100% control’: Asia expansion aided by own manufacturing capabilities – US brand The Balm
The Nevada-based company was exhibiting Cosmoprof Asia’s 2022 Singapore edition to showcase the brand in the APAC region, which executive vice president Jordana Shipman views as a growth area for the brand.
“We wouldn’t come all this way [to Singapore] if we didn’t,” she told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.
The brand is available in various Asian markets including Singapore and Hong Kong where brand awareness is well-established. However, there is still room for expansion.
Shipman told us that the company is interested in exploring all markets. “Women like make-up no matter where they live, and they should be able to express themselves and make themselves feel good.”
Having 100% control in manufacturing
While many cosmetic companies globally are facing tremendous issues with supply, The Balm does not.
Fortuitously, it had begun to manufacture its own products right as the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
“This makes a huge difference. Between influencers and marketing, things change so quickly that you have to depend on somebody else to manufacture your product, you’re almost going to miss the opportunity,” said Shipman.
“One day, a famous somebody can find a product that’s not in your top 10 [bestseller list] and then all of a sudden, it’s your number one. For me, I can stop manufacturing this product and start manufacturing that. In two weeks, I can ship out the product. If I was dependant on somebody else, I wouldn’t have that control.”
Company president Robert Shipman added: “This is a very big deal for us. Anytime we tell someone they’ll get a delivery, they are going to get that delivery because it’s 100% controlled by us.”
While consumers are different across all the APAC markets, the company was confident that its brand will resonate across borders because of its wide range of products.
“Historically, if you look at our products, we're not known for one category. We have really nice products in multiple categories, so we don't have to be pigeonholed as a lip company, an eye company or a powder company, or a highlighter company. We never fell into that one category,” said Shipman.
Some of The Balm’s bestsellers which have reached cult status among beauty lovers include its Schwing Liquid Eyeliner, Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, and Bahama Mama Bronzer.
It has the same attitude towards its distribution strategy. “We want to sell to everybody. One thing I do know is that in different countries, people shop in different places, and we want to bring our products to where people are shopping. So, it might be different in different countries,” said Shipman.
Moving forward, the brand is set to introduce new SKUs, including a lip product now that the category is recovering post-pandemic.
Shipman also revealed that the brand is set to launch its first skin care range globally in the first quarter of next year.