When Los Angeles-based cosmetics company Lime Crime decided to enter the Chinese market, it faced a number of marketing challenges that initially seemed like it might stop the company dead in its tracks. One of the most daunting for this vegan cosmetic brand was a mandate that all wholesale cosmetics sold in China must be tested on animals, a directive that the company felt it could never morally comply with.
The sole route to avoiding animal testing was if their product was shipped directly to Chinese consumers, a solution that was rife with issues regarding taxes, duties, transportation and language barriers. Another obstacle was the discovery of over a million counterfeit Lime Crime products already being sold in Chinese marketplaces. But where there is a will, there is a way, and the company found that it could partner with Los Angeles-based e-commerce platform Revolve as a way to overcome the initial testing and shipping obstacles.
It began planting social media seeds to alert its Chinese audience that Revolve was the exclusive legitimate source for its high quality products. Online word of mouth moved like a wild fire, thanks to enabling existing LC fans to be able to access its e-commerce hub a full two hours before the official launch into the Chinese marketplace.
Management also was able to work with respectable second and third tier influencers on social media who were already passionate about their cosmetic brand. The company decided to by-pass first tier influencers in favor of slightly less famous individuals who nonetheless could deliver favorable and positive social media content about the Lime Crime brand.
This very unique formula for remaining true to its vegan roots and circumventing shipping, language and duty/tax issues was highlighted during a discussion at the recent National Retail Federation Shop.org conference conducted in Los Angeles. Representatives of many similar brands were eager to hear the case study presented by the company’s global general manager, Kim Walls, clearly outlining how one company cleverly thought outside the box to successfully launch its cosmetic line in China.