Live interviews conducted by Angelika Meiss, Editor-in-chief at COSSMA. Including, Magda Villalonga, General Manager, Alqvimia and Sebastian Pole, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist, Pukka skincare.
Alqvimia is a 100% natural Spanish brand with its roots in the middle ages. It has a large number of followers because of the purity of its formulations, maintained Magda Villalonga. Its most innovative product is a product for the bust, which is made of flower essences. The brand is sold in salons and spas, as well as some department stores and own shops in Spain and Hong Kong. It is in 50 countries and in the process of expansion into the US.
Pukka was set up 8 years ago as a herbal tea brand and is based on traditional herbal medicines. Sebastian Pole saw a progression for the brand into skincare and ensures he works with everyone in the entire supply chain. The facial oil is the best-seller and Pole tries to use very concentrated extracts to deliver exceptional product benefits. Pukka skincare is sold through independent health food retailers and more specialised boutiques. It has independent distributors which do well in Scandanavia. “We’re getting known, but it’s a competitive market which is not short of skincare,” stated Pole.
Angelika Meiss asked each brand about their communication strategy. “We use PR and some advertising,” answered Villalonga. “Ours is about having a relationship with our distributors –they know the country and how to communicate there,” replied Pole. Neither has a social media strategy as such, but recognised that social media needs close monitoring. “There’s a lot of work to do online and shops don’t always like it,” observed Pole. “We have an e-shop that sells worldwide and it’s useful for clients who can’t find the brand in their own country,” said Villalonga.
“What makes a niche product successful?” asked Meiss. “Packaging helps, but it’s the quality of the ingredients,” stated Villalonga, whose R&D is conducted in-house. “We’re too young to talk about successes, but it’s the whole package that counts,” affirmed Pole, who has 8 health professionals, including doctors and aromatherapists. Neither brand is in any hurry to expand quickly, but recognise the need for having the right people to help grow the business.