Examining Lime Crime’s Expansion Formula

The cosmetic giant, Lime Crime, has developed a approach to its China launch as an answer to the unprecedented dynamic that the brand faced in that county.

Lime Crime’s General Manager, Kim Walls, addressed this topic at the National Retail Federations Shop.org industry conference recently in California. She spoke about the need for changes in the company’s sales strategy, which can be found in WARC’s report: Lime Crime’s Formula for Entering the Chinese Market.

A mandate issue that presented a problem was the requirement that all wholesale cosmetics be tested on animals. Since Lime Crime is a vegan brand, the only way it can avoid this requirement is to ship its products directly from the US. However, this would result in difficult transportation logistics that involve taxes and duties, as well as the management of international returns and customer concerns in a foreign language. Counterfeits further complicate the issue.

The company’s solution during the China launch was to align itself with Revolve, a California-based e-commerce fashion that is expanding into the beauty industry. Walls reported that Revolve stood out as a company that was serving a similar demographic from a similar point of view.

During Lime Crime’s official launch in China, potential customers who visited their social feeds were encouraged to visit Revolve’s ecommerce location. This was a unified effort to inform the market that Revolve was the exclusive source of genuine Lime Crime products in the country. The company’s ecommerce hub could also be accessed during commute time, which was two hours prior to the official launch. This move helped spread word of mouth marketing.

LimeCrime switched its focus from first tier category influencers, favoring instead, a slightly less known demographic that expressed true passion for the brand. Walls stated that it was critical to have someone speaking on behalf of Lime Crime, or who actually generated content with the product that appears to be a good fit for the brand. She went on to note that this is not the first-tier influencer, due to the fact that this demographic is its own brand.

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