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EsteticaExport has asked some prominent distributors from around the world for their market analysis and first-hand comments on the state of the hair & beauty industry.

Part 3 of this ongoing feature involves a group of 7 entrepreneurs who have a long experience in distribution. In some cases, they are also manufacturers of professional hair products.

Here is our topic of conversation:

How is the export business changing in our Industry after being hit by the pandemic and other international crises? What kind of brands are going to thrive in the new market?

Jeff Alford, CEO of CBON Group, a major distributor of hair & beauty products in Canada and the USA, comments on North America’s situation:
“It appears there is an opportunity for niche brands who have a strong grassroots up-marketing campaign to enter markets and built a cult following as a base and then grow from there. This makes it harder for the large brands to compete with them, so now, the large brands have to start thinking small”.

From Poland, Waldemar Kotecki, founder of Fale Loki Koki, one of the most important distributors of professional hair products in the country, says:

“The most significant transformation is the elimination of trade without barriers, resulting in a fast sale process. e-Commerce has become increasingly important, while the significance of exclusive distribution within a particular region has diminished. The competition is fierce, posing a challenging image across various markets, and delivering a targeted message or value proposition to professional consumers. Brands and suppliers who can accomplish this will secure a long-lasting competitive edge in the market”.

From France, Antonin Landolfi Director of Business Operations at Bleu Libellule, adds:

“I do not see any fundamental changes in the export business. Inspiring and engaged brands keep doing well in the market, whatever their origin. Linking back to the previous question, we see changes in brands’ operational activities, in order to be more sustainable and engaged, by shortening their supply chain, for instance”.

Haysam Eid, Manager Director at EIDEAL in Dubai (UAE), analyses his territory, as well as global markets:

“The hair & beauty industry’s export business has been impacted by the pandemic and other international crises, such as trade disputes and political instability. However, the industry has shown resilience and has adapted to the changing circumstances by adopting new strategies and exploring new markets.

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards e-Commerce and digital platforms, which has allowed hair & beauty brands to reach new customers and markets. Online sales surged as more consumers turned to online shopping due to lockdowns and social distancing measures.

Moreover, there has been a growing demand for natural and sustainable beauty products globally, as consumers have become more environmentally conscious. Brands that focus on eco-friendly and sustainable products are likely to thrive in a market where this focus has become increasingly important.

Additionally, brands that offer personalization and inclusivity are likely to succeed as consumers increasingly seek products that cater to their individual needs and preferences.

Overall, hair & beauty brands that can adapt to changing consumer behaviour and preferences, offer innovative and sustainable products and utilise e-Commerce and digital platforms effectively are likely to thrive in the new market. However, the situation is constantly evolving, and brands need to remain flexible and responsive to the changing circumstances to succeed in the export business”.

Tarek Samir, Founder and Chairman of First Cosmetics, from Cairo, Egypt, adds:

“In general, cosmetic brands that focus on practicality and affordability thrive during a crisis, as consumers become more budget-conscious and prioritise essential products.
Brands that are going to thrive in the current crisis offer multi-functional products, such as skincare, make-up and hair treatment. They may also be attractive to consumers who are looking to simplify their beauty routines”.

Ofer Mor, CEO at Gidon Cosmetics a leading marketer, manufacturer, importer and distributor of products, tools and furniture for the haircare, cosmetics & beauty industries in Israel, comments:

“IT tools for export definitely grew during and after the pandemic – from Zoom meetings to online shows and web B2B activity. Even though we saw a peak in this activity and then, once the borders opened, we all returned to the traditional way of doing business, we can consider them as tools that changed our behaviour. Online activity and sales created a global market that everybody could be part of. We strongly believe that investigating in professionals and their training can create the difference between a brand that you can buy from any other country to a service and solution you can get only from your distributor. In addition, the economic new (old) “rule” where money costs money will encourage companies to look for exporters that can combine small orders with short lead time and with a wide variety of products. Such activity can make the difference between an importer who loses money to another one who works fast and effectively and earns money”.

From his headquarters in France, Brian Bruno, CEO of Dancoly Cosmetique, which has recently joined our panel, comments:
After the dual impact of the epidemic and other international crises, we saw an increase in the availability of raw materials, supply chain disruptions, and transportation difficulties. There was also a severe impact on market demand and consumer confidence. This led to a significant reduction in international trade. The export business of the hair & beauty industry is no exception and has been greatly affected. This has brought enormous difficulties to many businesses.

However, some companies have successfully overcome these difficulties – they are the ones with strong brand influence and can break away from single market dependence. Through innovation and flexible thinking, they continuously expand the internationalisation of their products, focus on mid to high-end markets, meet customer pain points, and gradually overcome difficulties.

For brands that adapt to new markets, it is even more important to pay attention to global market trends and master effective marketing strategies – integrity, quality, service, innovation, and other keywords that drive brand development. At the same time, utilising advanced technologies such as the Internet can effectively reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, achieve remote business communication and decision-making, and adapt to potential market demands. Due to the impact of the epidemic, online sales have become the current mainstream of consumption, which is a great opportunity and challenge for brand marketing. DANCOLY is also constantly seeking innovation and development to adapt to the constantly changing market during the epidemic.

Therefore, in the future export market, only those enterprises with brand power, innovation ability, service awareness, and efficiency can truly achieve success. Faced with changes and crises, only by constantly keeping up with the trend of the times and actively responding to adjustments can we remain invincible in the new market and achieve sustainable development. Our French Dancoly Group is precisely such a company”.

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