MUNICH, July 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Last May, a brand new touch of light green appeared in several branches of Douglas, the German cosmetics retail group. The new name hitting the shelves is called "Herborist", a refined brand positioned at the crossroads of traditional Chinese herbal extracts and the latest modern biotechnical achievements. In the international markets which it has already appeared in, Herborist stands for an oriental philosophy of mysterious beauty. Now, German consumers are discovering these Chinese philosophies and medicinal herb theories, experiencing a distinctive culture coming from the other end of the globe.
Germany is the most populous country in EU, and contains the largest cosmetics market in Europe. Douglas is the leader in this market with a history of over a hundred years and over 1,900 stores around the world. Though neither professionals nor consumers have much knowledge about Chinese cosmetics yet, German consumers were pretty enthusiastic at the launch of Herborist, and they liked the brand's innovative concept and the quality of the product.
Germany is not the first step along Herborist's European journey. Five years ago the brand was launched in the European market by settling down at Sephora's flagship store on the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Cultural differences didn't stop Herborist's development; instead it stimulated consumers' curiosity. T'ai Chi Masks became top-five-selling items soon after their introduction.
While buying Herborist products, consumers can hear salespeople explaining some skin-care concepts with deep philosophical meaning, which refers to natural balance, and the syncretism of body and mind. All of those have obvious imprints of the ancient oriental country from which the products are developed. From products, to packaging, to brand culture, Herborist's salute to Chinese culture has attracted a certain amount of curious consumers. Feedback can be found on social media and in beauty blogs; people are a little bit unfamiliar and surprised, but with solid effects.
The worldwide China fever is no longer a secret. With a strong scientific research program, Herborist is reviving traditional Chinese prescription and medical herb theories. It sets up a successful example of modern China using its cultural heritage.
So far, Chinese elements have helped Herborist gain brand awareness and laid the foundation of expanding international markets. Whether Herborist can win more consumers' favor will depend on the actual effects of its products.