A.S. Watson, the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, has massive partnerships with its strategic partners, such as Unilever, creating together exclusive, commercially successful projects around the globe.
In the growing global beauty market, expected to reach a market value of USD 805.61 billion by 20231, brands need access to category insights and data to ensure the development of products and strategies are in line with the needs of the market, and speak directly to their target customers.
A.S. Watson helps its brand partners, both multi-national and more niche brands or start-ups, to deliver strategies for launches that address their objectives through its global customer base, data insights, digital tools, resources and expertise.
Each year A.S. Watson welcomes over four billion customers into its 14,400 stores in 24 markets, with over 130 million members of its loyalty programmes, giving business partners access to the largest active loyalty member base in the world. The retailer also uses segmentation and analytics to optimise results for brands by offering insights to help identify the right locations for specific brand launches and marketing activity.
Using customer insights to launch an established product in a new market
Insights and retail expertise from A.S. Watson helped Unilever successfully launch TRESemmé haircare in Mainland China. Already a well-known brand in many global markets, Unilever wanted to expand its TRESemmé offering to Mainland China and saw A.S. Watson as the perfect global partner to establish the brand in this new market.
The launch strategy was co-developed bringing together the haircare expertise of Unilever with the retail knowledge, wide customer reach and market data insights of A.S. Watson, to ensure a strong plan, focussing on both online and offline activity.
Customer reach and exposure were key to the launch, therefore A.S. Watson targeted its 300,000 Watsons loyalty members to announce it through SMS and an additional five million shoppers were reached through a social media campaign on the app Dianping, described as the Chinese version of Yelp. There was also an instore appearance with Chinese actress Jiang Xin at Watsons in Guangzhou, which was also broadcast online.
Following the launch, Unilever and A.S. Watson continued to work together to grow and develop the digital promotion plans. This joint approach has seen dividends with sales showing a promising 128% uplift compared to the average week.
Bérengère Loubatier, Unilever TRESemmé Global Hair Care Brand Director said, “TRESemmé is a global leading hair care and styling brand to provide the perfect end look and fashionable experience and we’re excited to have worked with A.S. Watson to bring this to Chinese customers!”
With its breadth of stores, customer data and market insights, the above example shows how A.S. Watson is able to help brands develop products and grow their presence in new markets.
Malina Ngai, Group Chief Operating Officer at A.S. Watson Group, says: “Our forward-thinking approach and access to new technologies and data allows us to talk directly to over 130 million loyal customers across the globe. This coupled with the expertise of our global retail brands and allows us to work collaboratively with business partners to really maximise opportunities and give our customers the products they want. This tailored approach has already seen dividends for our strategic partners and our customers and we look forward to launching more examples of innovative collaborations.”