Florasis: Inheriting Chinese Aesthetics, Gaining Overseas Renown

Consumer Discretionary Author: Qinqie He, Katherine Sep 04, 2023 11:11 AM (GMT+8)

In the bustling realm of cosmetics, where tradition meets innovation, Florasis (Chinese: 花西子) has emerged as a radiant gem, fusing traditional beauty rituals with modern technologies. The brand has adorned itself with the moniker 'Florasis,' a name inspired by a poem by the esteemed Su Dongpo (Chinese: 苏东坡), evoking the essence of both West Lake's tranquil charm and the legendary beauty Xi Zi (Chinese: 西施).


EqualOcean had the privilege of sitting down with Chen Guang, the director of Florasis’ overseas sales department, to unravel the stories and strategies that have thrust this enigmatic brand onto the global stage.

Pioneering a Cultural Odyssey

Behind every brand lies a narrative that shapes its identity. When asked about the driving force behind Florasis’ brand positioning, Chen Guang delved into the core principles with unwavering enthusiasm. "Florasis’ brand positioning," he explained, "is firmly rooted in the concept of Eastern cosmetics, flourishing like flowers." These few words encapsulate a journey spanning centuries, founded upon the essence of Chinese culture and nourished by the ever-evolving art of cosmetics.

Drawing from China's millennia-old tradition of beauty and wellness, Florasis has crafted a holistic system – an Eastern beauty ecosystem – that encompasses product development, makeup techniques, and a deeply ingrained cultural narrative. This has allowed the brand to flourish with its ethos of 'Yi Hua Yang Zhuang (Chinese: 以花养妆),' an approach that harmonizes floral beauty with cosmetic care, unlocking the door to addressing the unique characteristics of Asian skin and beauty preferences.

Guardians of Distinction

In a landscape where competition is fierce and differentiation is key, Florasis has cultivated its moat with precision. Its young age has not hindered the brand's commitment to standing tall amongst its peers. Chen Guang elaborated on the twin pillars of their overseas strategy: the Eastern beauty development system and the symbiotic blend of Eastern culture and aesthetics.

The Eastern beauty development system takes cues from the rich tapestry of traditional Chinese medicine and incorporates ancient formulations alongside modern scientific advancements. Backed by dedicated research and development facilities, this system has enabled Florasis to pioneer cosmetics rooted in age-old wisdom yet bolstered by contemporary innovation.

On the other hand, the Eastern culture and aesthetic system is the outward embodiment of Florasis’ distinctive identity. As Chen Guang put it, "We have meticulously woven a comprehensive Eastern cultural and aesthetic framework." This mosaic includes makeup techniques, artistic materials, color studies, and stylistic presentation, all deeply enmeshed with the rich tapestry of Chinese heritage. This fusion of innovation and tradition becomes the cornerstone upon which Florasis positions itself as a vanguard in the industry.

Charting an Unconventional Path

Florasis’ client portrait departs from convention, further underscoring its distinctive appeal. When it comes to attracting customers, the brand's charm is amplified through geographical variance. In Western markets, where individuality is revered, consumers are drawn to Florasis’ unique traits – from intricate craftsmanship to ancient formulations that resonate with centuries-old traditions. These attributes embody a crossroads between artistry and culture that piques the curiosity of discerning Western beauty enthusiasts.

Florasis’ offerings cater to a broad spectrum of age groups, primarily between 25 to 45 years. However, there's a twist in the tale – the brand's appeal is not limited to women alone. With distinct and thoughtful offerings, Florasis has found its way into the hearts of male patrons. Chen Guang highlighted that their unique products often serve as exquisite gifts for girlfriends, wives, and family members, showcasing the brand's flexibility and desirability beyond traditional boundaries.

Casting a Global Web: Market Education

Florasis’ digital footprint has extended to over 100 countries and regions, a testament to its global ambition. Leveraging a diverse range of platforms such as the brand's official website, independent online shops, and marketplaces like Amazon, Shopee, and Lazada, the brand has made its presence felt. Yet, the question lingers: How does Florasis effectively transmit brand values, Chinese makeup artistry, and product philosophies to consumers abroad?

Chen Guang articulated a multi-layered approach. At the top layer, the focus lies on comprehensive media PR coverage in overseas markets, seeding initial familiarity. Then comes the establishment of official social media channels for different regions, disseminating not only product updates but also celebrating Eastern festivals and makeup styles. Collaborations with overseas influencers like Jeffree Star have further contributed to the brand's propagation. Lastly, Chen Guang explained that overseas customers' shopping habits vary significantly from those in China. In Japan and Western markets, consumers predominantly opt for in-store purchases. To meet these preferences, Florasis is navigating the complexities of global expansion, gradually blending its online and offline realms to create an immersive experience that resonates across cultures.

Mastering the Voyage: Challenges

For the overseas market, a myriad of factors come into play, from production costs and logistics to tariffs and operational expenses. During the interview, Chen mentioned several challenges behind Florasis’ expansion journey.

The brand transitioned from cross-border e-commerce to a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, driven by the necessity of engaging with consumers more intimately. Chen identified supply chain maturity, online expertise, and tailoring products to meet diverse market needs as key strengths of the company within the Chinese market. Nevertheless, Chen acknowledged that transitioning from online to offline operations and collaborating with local teams brought forth significant challenges. This evolution necessitated aligning the core values of the brand with international partners, a process that demanded continuous learning and growth.

Meanwhile, Chen talked about the challenges of setting the price bar alongside established international cosmetics giants. Florasis aims to gradually attain global recognition and prominence akin to industry leaders. While sharing a price range comparable to brands like Dior and Chanel, the brand’s distinct offerings and loyal customer base provide a unique value proposition, gradually expanding its user demographic with a potent blend of authenticity and innovation.

Lastly, Chen shared insights into the human resources challenges as Florasis progressed from cross-border to localized operations. To overcome the difficulty of merging different cultures and backgrounds within local teams, Chen elaborated on Florasis’ strategies. He highlighted the need for both internationalization within their internal teams and maintaining an open, collaborative approach with overseas partners. Chen emphasized that understanding the local market's nuances and combining them with the brand's values was crucial for successful integration.

Forecasting the Future: A Three-Year Vision

Chen's insights extended to the trajectory of the overseas beauty and cosmetics market over the next three years. He stressed the importance of product adaptability and diversification to cater to a wide range of consumer preferences. Additionally, Chen highlighted the brand's commitment to compliance and sustainability as essential to building trust with consumers and partners.

In a confident and measured tone, Chen revealed Florasis’ strategic plans for the future. Currently, the overseas markets contribute approximately 10% of the brand's total revenue.  "In the upcoming year, our primary focus will be on the Japanese, French, and American markets," he revealed. These three pivotal markets will witness intensified efforts to embed the essence of Florasis’ brand identity.

A Call to Collaborate: Seeking Influential Media Partnerships

Chen also discussed selecting suitable local partners. He highlighted the critical need to align brand values and visions, emphasizing that finding the right partnerships in various markets remains a priority. Chen expressed the company's desire to work with influential media partners who can communicate the essence of Florasis’ globalized approach.

In Chen Guang's words, "Florasis’ journey has only just begun." With bold aspirations, an unwavering commitment to authentic beauty, and a strategy meticulously woven from tradition and innovation, Florasis stands poised to redefine the contours of the global cosmetics landscape. As the sun sets on our conversation, one thing becomes apparent: the philosophy of Eastern aesthetics is drifting far beyond China's borders, heralding a new era of timeless elegance.