ECO LIVING: Madara cosmetics company early in its history decided to expand in foreign markets, not limiting itself to its home market in Latvia.
TALLINN - As the world goes greener, there are many ways how to support our skin and well-being. Natural eco-cosmetics are becoming more and more popular in Estonia as well as in the other two Baltic States, as well as in the whole of Europe.
Zane Rugina is the brand and marketing director of the Madara Cosmetics company,
which manufactures natural and ecological cosmetics. Rugina says that in Estonia, the market of eco-cosmetics began to develop considerably later than in Latvia, although it is possible to find Madara products in some shops of natural cosmetics. “Until now we have worked in the Estonian market ourselves. However, that made us realize that it is very difficult to work from Latvia as a distributor in a different country, no matter how closely located or small it is. That is why we are searching for partners to collaborate with.”
“Success is determined by making a successful brand work hand in hand with a successful product. Anyone who understands brand management, advertising and marketing knows that a poor product can be well advertised and it can be sold once, but that is as far as it goes. After that the life of a product ends. One of Madara’s strengths is product quality – it has been recognized by all our foreign partners and it is reinforced by favorable feedback from customers and customer loyalty. We have very high expectations from our brand quality; and that has helped us successfully conquer markets abroad. Our distributors have chosen to represent Madara products within the highly competitive market of other high quality cosmetic brands because they believe our products will be successful,” says Rugina.
According to Rugina, Madara products have become quite popular in Scandinavia and Central Europe. Rugina hopes that the company’s products would become more popular in Estonia in the future as well. “Our marketing budget has never been very large. It wasn’t when we started our business with our own limited resources, nor is it today in this time of economic downturn. Until now we have built our reputation on good public relations and by becoming friends with the press. For example, for over a year now we have had very successful cooperation with women’s magazines – our products frequently appear in reviews and comparisons of different cosmetic products.”
“In the eco-product sector our competitors are other eco-brands because we offer similar products – with natural ingredients made from plants and without artificial or unhealthy ingredients. On the other hand, cosmetics give a woman more than just a physical product, but also an array of emotions that are conveyed by the message, the packaging, the sensations, textures and fragrances. In this regard Madara competes with all of the beauty care brands that stand alongside it on the shop shelves, as well as in the consumer’s mind. Each of them says different things,” says the marketing director.
“The most important manner of communicating is through the product itself. In
Madara’s case it is often the case that the product precedes the brand and the advertising.
Once someone has experienced the product, each consumer becomes a walking advertisement – word-of-mouth communication is the most powerful marketing tool. Women will always trust their women friends, their sisters, mothers or beauty care experts, especially in such a personal subject as cosmetics,” says Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere, director of Madara Cosmetics.
“We would like to enlarge our business in Estonia, and we have already begun searching for new partners who will help us to realize our business in Estonia on a larger scale. It’s very surprising that it is so difficult to enlarge our business in Estonia, even if Estonia is our neighboring country. It happened that it was even easier to run our business in other European countries rather than in a neighboring one,” says Tisenkopfa-Iltnere.
“Madara Cosmetics is a Latvian manufacturer of organic skin care products. The ingredients include biologically certified blossoms and herbal extracts from the Baltic region.
Rugina added that “In the process of creating the Madara brand, we took into
consideration the fact that our products would not be sold only in eco-cosmetics shops along with other natural products. Our goal was to sell them in shops like Stockmann, along with the big brands such as Lancome, Clinique and others. This was taken into consideration in the design and the concept of our brand. We made a conscious decision not to remain a small company limited by Latvia’s small market. There is competition and always will be, however, it helps us develop and prevents us from gathering moss.”
According to Rugina, in small countries like Latvia and Estonia, generally everyone knows one another and there is always a way to arrange something. “In larger countries it requires more time and a focused effort to establish the trust and sympathy of magazine editors. Our distributors are working hard with us on this. For example, in Great Britain our product has appeared in the pages of Vogue magazine. It was like “wow!” But that was all thanks to the prolonged and determined effort of a public relations expert.”
She added that the Estonian market remains one of the issues where the company wants to improve its business. Tisenkopfa-Iltnere said that despite the economic recession, the business is growing and the brand is becoming more and more popular and successful.