A Swiss skincare and dermatology cosmetics company aimed to expand its global market presence by entering the Korean market. Collaborating with KOISRA and the Swiss Business Hub Korea, the client sought suitable distribution partners and sought insights into penetrating Korea's competitive cosmetics market.
OBJECTIVE - FINDING PROFESSIONAL IMPORTER AND DISTRIBUTOR
The main objective was to identify a Korean cosmetic importer and distributor experienced in handling successful European cosmetics brands. The ideal partner needed established connections with renowned Korean retail stores, a strong network within dermatological and skincare clinic circles nationwide, and proficiency in e-commerce operations. Financial stability was crucial not only for a successful brand launch but also for sustained marketing efforts in Korea.
CHALLENGE - SATURATED MARKET
The Korean cosmetics market, especially for non-Korean brands, posed challenges due to saturation and local brand preferences. Korean consumers favored domestic brands for affordability and suitability to Asian skin types. However, growing interest in "cosmeceutical" products like those offered by the client presented opportunities. The challenge was establishing a foothold despite prevailing market preferences.
APPROACH – MARKET STUDY AND IDENTIFICATION
KOISRA initiated a detailed approach by conducting an extensive market study to gain deep insights into the complexities of the Korean cosmetics landscape. This involved analyzing prevailing sales structures, consumer preferences, evolving trends, competitive dynamics, and successful strategies adopted by international brands for market entry.
The findings formed the basis for compiling a comprehensive list of potential Korean cosmetics distributors and importers that aligned with the client's specific criteria. These criteria included a successful track record with imported European cosmetics, established relationships with key retail chains, a strong presence within dermatological and skincare clinic networks, and expertise in navigating Korea's e-commerce landscape.
After creating this comprehensive list, KOISRA underwent further refinement, involving detailed consultations with the client. These discussions helped identify partners that best matched the client's brand identity, market strategy, and objectives for entering the Korean market. The engagement extended beyond remote communication. The KOISRA team actively interacted with potential partners through personalized calls, targeted emails, and face-to-face meetings. This hands-on approach allowed for an in-depth assessment of the identified Korean distributors and importers.
OUTCOME – IDENTIFIED IMPORTERS AND AGREEMENT SIGNED
Six prominent Korean cosmetics companies demonstrated keen interest in collaboration after engaging with KOISRA. These companies showcased not only financial stability but also a wealth of experience in handling imported cosmetics and dermatological skincare products from Europe.
Among the interested parties, one company particularly aligned with the client's brand ethos and market objectives. This standout partner boasted a robust distribution network that targeted clinics, online sales platforms, and various health & beauty stores across Korea. Their established connections and strategic positioning aligned seamlessly with the client's vision for market penetration and growth.
Following extensive discussions, evaluations, and negotiations facilitated by KOISRA, the client finalized an agreement with this selected Korean distributor. This strategic partnership paved the way for the successful entry of the client's Swiss skincare and dermatology products into the Korean market.
Presently, the client's products are available across a spectrum of outlets in Korea. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the client's endeavor to expand its global reach and establish a strong foothold within the competitive Korean cosmetics industry.