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Beiersdorf: Leading German skincare brand wins Vietnamese consumer hearts

What are the highlights of Beiersdorf’s presence in Vietnam so far?

Beiersdorf launched its No. 1 global icon, NIVEA, more than 16 years ago. It has strong roots in Northern Vietnam where many “Viet Kieu” living abroad know the Blue Tin, which is still considered one of the most prestige souvenirs to bring back home.

Since then, NIVEA has enjoyed a strong brand awareness in Vietnam of almost 99 percent with a highly loyal consumer base. Since 2018 it has taken the No. 1 Skin Care brand position in Vietnam. Our Skin Care portfolio with Deodorants, Body Care and Face Care categories consists of very strong-performing core products like our hero Pearl and Beauty deodorant, our fast-absorbing Body Lotion Whitening with SPF 50 and our Micellar Water with zero-percent alcohol being the first brand to establish the make-up remover segment, which you can find across all distribution channels nationwide even in the highest mountainous areas of Vietnam.

Clearly, one of our success drivers is innovation. Every year, we launch innovative product ranges that respond to the local skin care needs of Vietnamese women based on thorough research and development efforts and consumer insights. In 2019, we launched our premium line of NIVEA Floral Care with Hokkaido Rose Extracts as the distinguishing ingredient. The campaign umbrella was “Care with a Touch” – taking care of women’s beautiful faces, bodies and underarm skin. We have gained significant market shares and been on top ever since. Furthermore, we have expanded our target segmentation to male audiences with the NIVEA MEN brand and portfolio holding the No. 1 market positions for male deodorants and face care products.

Can you elaborate on Beiersdorf’s brand presence in terms of different product categories and consumer segments?

Currently, we are present in three business segments: cosmetics since 2004 with NIVEA and NIVEA MEN for mass-market consumers; Derma since 2011 with Eucerin (The Medical Skin Care Brand); and Healthcare with Hansaplast (The Healing Expert) which just entered the Vietnamese market in July 2020 focusing on the wound care business. Currently, NIVEA and NIVEA MEN are clearly our main business contributors while Eucerin and Hansaplast will be our growth drivers in the coming years. We are very excited about covering many aspects of a Vietnamese consumer’s needs.

The leading German skincare NIVEA booth attracted many attendees at the event “A Piece of Germany” in Ho Chi Minh City, on November 28, 2020

How do you assess Vietnam’s cosmetic market in general and skincare products in particular in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic? What is the post-pandemic scenario you envisage for this sector?

In contrast to 10 years ago, there have been high fluctuations in the past three years when it comes to the skin care segment. Many smaller players from the Republic of Korea and Japan have emerged; and digitalization has allowed hand-carried products to enter the country. After an increase in 2019, which was driven by big brands led by NIVEA and NIVEA MEN, in the Covid-19 context, we see a slight decline of the total Skin Care market for 2020.

We can also see a shift from general trade to modern trade and e-commerce channels changing the market dynamics with the high penetration of mobile phones and internet usage. This has been particularly emphasized during Covid-19. The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop and spend in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world.

Consumers are looking much more for value for money products and offers without compromises on quality, and this is where our affordable and high-quality products come into play.

We are taking very positive approach. We have every reason to believe the market will recover in 2021, when we will launch relevant innovations, marking our contribution as the market leader.

What are the broad planks on which Beiersdorf plans to expand in Vietnam?

Beiersdorf has pursued and will pursue high ambitions in the years to come. We are here for the long run. You can see how our brands have been built up and what our investment focus has been. We want to drive healthy and sustainable growth. With the growth in modern trade and e-commerce, our plans will cover those trends even as we maintain our strengths in general trade.

Ashish Dewan, Country Manager of Beiersdorf Vietnam, explains his company’s success: “A strong brand heritage and credibility from Germany with the highest standards, combined with a deep local consumer understanding is a crucial success factor. Building a true corporate CARE culture and respecting the local context are indispensable factors in our success.”

Phung Khuu

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