Marketing in China was quite the challenge for American cosmetic manufacturer Lime Crime. Their management team explained that going overseas required tossing out everything they knew about sales in order to find unique ways to address consumer interests in the emerging market.With some unconventional techniques and helpful partnerships, Lime Crime was able to overcome obstacles and now is available in China.
Chinese consumers and laws posed significant differences that had to be overcome before Lime Crime could launch. For one, they were not allowed to maintain their inventory in China due to laws requiring testing on animals for all cosmetics. The vegan and all natural products that Lime Crime presented were not tested on animals, and therefore had to be shipped exclusively from the United States.
Doing this required keeping track of numerous levies and taxes as the items were technically imported in China everytime a sale took place. To make things more complex, counterfitters were selling fake versions of the cosmetics in the streets of China. This happened even before Lime Crime had a chance to take off and launch in the new marketspace.
In order to challenge the status quo, they developed a unique strategy that would position themselves much better. Their solution was to partner with another brand, Revolve. This L.A.-based clothing brand created high quality websites and content that was being promoted to very similar audiences in China. The common interests of these companies were to improve the way that fashion and beauty products were treated and available.
Making Revolve the sole vendor for available products, Lime Crime helped chinese audiences get the best results and know exactly where to get authentic cosmetics. This strategy also allowed people who were interested a chance to sign up for mailing lists and keep track of their orders through the official website.
Ultimately, Lime Crime was able to turn the lemons of Chinese law and market problems into lemonade. It was easy for them to approach consumers once some key challenges were overcome. It also propagated very special opportunities for future growth that the company can explore in the years to come.