MATTLOOK Cosmetics, a subsidiary of Little Profit Trading Company, was formed in 2017. Barely a year later, the MATTLOOK beauty product brand has come a long way, with a current network of 5,000 retail outlets selling its products, a strong online presence, and a growing image as an affordable alternative to globally established beauty brands. With its own R&D team in Delhi and Mumbai, and sales & marketing team spanning India, the brand today has over 150 products and about 5000 SKUs. Here, in an informal chat with Cosmedic India, Yashu Jain, managing director, MATTLOOK Cosmetics, gives us a deep insight into the changing behavioural patterns of the average Indian beauty product consumer, and how MATTLOOK is poised to meet her aspirations, and satiate her beauty demands. Excerpts of the interview:
As a beauty and body care product brand, which specific customer segment you cater to?
We basically cater to the middle segment consumers, who can’t typically afford top MNC brands. While products from most of these well-known brands start from ₹ 800 onward, we strive to deliver the same quality products in a ₹ 200 to ₹ 250 price range. Every Indian woman consumer of beauty product seeks quality products at a healthier price, and that is where MATTLOOK’s focus is. In short, the MATTLOOK brand strives to bridge the gap for the middle class beauty product consumers for whom luxury cosmetics are aspirational brands. With MATTLOOK, they get access to quality and in-vogue products, at very affordable prices.
Kindly describe your sales and distribution network. How strong are you in the retail sector?
We work with about 300 distributors in India to whom we supply our products directly. We coordinate with these distributors, who ensure that our products are further supplied to more than 5,000 retailers across India. Currently, our sales network covers a number of Indian states, namely Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.
Do you have any plans to cater to the South Indian market?
In the next phase of our growth plans, we will also set up a sales network in South India. We have observed that the South Indian market demands an affordable range of products. In this context, we intend to roll out only those products that meet the specific demand requirements of that market.
How have you positioned your brand in the online market place, considering the fact that buying cosmetics online is increasingly becoming a huge draw and the number of cosmetics-specific eCommerce websites is on the rise?
All our products are available online on the leading eCommerce sites, Amazon and Flipkart, and we are in talks with Nykaa, a site that exclusively caters to the beauty and fashion sector. MATTLOOK also has its very our own eCommerce website www.mattlookcosmetics.com
How do you promote your brand and products among your distribution channel partners? Do you run any exclusive channel programs for them?
While we directly dispatch our products to the 300-odd distributors, we have a region-wise sales and marketing team who is responsible for getting orders booked by the retailers. Based on the orders received from retailers, the products are supplied by the distributors to them. Our feet on street team directly interacts with the retailers for creating awareness of our brand among them and influencing them to sell our branded products.
Please elaborate on your business outlook for the year 2019. What objectives do you look forward to achieving in the near future?
The cosmetics and beauty products market today is very diverse and fragmented. It has also become very dynamic in the last few years, that even major players in the field find it difficult to anticipate which trend will come and which will last, especially with reference to colours. Under the circumstance, the best we could do is, have our experts consistently gauge the mood of the market, have our exclusive R&D team come out with products in accordance with the ongoing market trends, demands and seasons.
We have already started taking bigger marketing initiatives for improving the MATTLOOK brand awareness among both consumers and our distribution partners. As part of this, in 2019 we are planning to participate in some of the biggest cosmetics and beauty product events / expos, and these include the Pro Beauty Delhi and Pro Beauty Mumbai events.
What, according to you, are the recent noteworthy developments in the cosmetics and beauty products market?
Among consumers, there is a growing tendency to experiment with new colours. They are becoming so demanding that they will only buy a product with the colour they prefer or desire for. Even when it comes to a particular colour, there are customers who will only go for a particular shade in that colour. Just a few years back, the colour was the most decisive factor influencing a purchase; today you can say it’s the shade of particular colour that influences the purchase.
Another recent trend worth mentioning is the consumer’s inclination to try out new brands in the market. A large chunk of the consumers has already tried and test big brands and would like to experiment with new ones. This is an encouraging development for brands like MATTLOOK which are relatively new in the market.
So what is your strategy to effectively tap these opportunities?
People today have become so savvy about cosmetics and beauty products that they consistently keep track of the developments in this sector – globally as well as locally. We understand that offering a wide variety in any given product line is of utmost importance for making a bigger market impact.
In line with this, we are bringing out about 50 new products this year, spread across lip care, nail care and face care. As mentioned earlier, the modern user looks for a particular shade in a particular colour, and MATTLOOK has always been taking proactive steps to match this demand. Just to give you an example, MATTLOOK has 20 lipstick categories, and we have 40 shades in each of these categories. We are committed to offering the widest possible variety to the consumer.
You are competing with a large number of brands that already have significant mindshare and popularity in the market. What are the biggest challenges faced by you in these conditions?
The only option we have is to increase brand awareness and establish ourselves as a trustworthy player in the sector. We are making our market initiatives stronger in the retail segment, through our sales and marketing team. The focus of these initiatives is to highlight the values and benefits we offer to the consumer, especially about the world-class quality products that we offer at very reasonable prices.
Many times, payments we get from distributors get delayed because they expect a longer credit period from us. We can’t blame them because they get a longer credit period from our competitors. To an extent, this delay in payments affects our working capital. The solution, as said, lies in increasing our brand pull and that can happen by making our marketing efforts, stronger. An enhanced brand image will result in not only attracting more consumers to our products but also, in retailers and distributors showing more interest in dealing with our brand. Our major focus currently is on increasing sales and marketing and branding activities.