NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Celebrating a century in the skin care business, Beiersdorf (BDF) East Africa has said it plans to strengthen the Nivea brand in the region through continued penetration in the skin care market.
With a 17 percent market share in body lotion, Nivea is leading in Kenya and has already made efforts to increase its numbers.
Speaking during a media briefing commemorating 100 years of operation on Friday, BDF East Africa Managing Director Mathieu Levasseur said the recent launch of Nivea’s Hydra IQ lotions has given the company a double digit growth.
“The growth since the launch has been very good, better than expected. It shows figures above 20 to 25 percent growth compared to last year. So we hope that this continues. I think the consumers have really perceived a benefit out of the formula,” he said.
Just three months into its Sh500 million investment, meant to help deepen market penetration, Marketing Manager Olivier Bodson said the company is looking to improve Nivea’s skin care competence and consumer connectivity in the region.
“In terms of improving our skin expertise, the first thing is to communicate to the people that we do consider them as part of our strategy. The second point is to have market relevant innovations like the Body Hydra IQ lotions launch. It was responding to a need of African skin being drier than Caucasian skin type or Asian skin type,” he said.
Amidst the current economic slowdown, Mr Levasseur, said the company has not perceived a big drop in sales as such, but has taken steps in responding to the adverse effects.
“What we have done during the last month is establish the right price positioning, to stay affordable. By continuing to invest behind the brand, by bringing innovation like the Hydra IQ formula the consumer continues to buy our products,” he said.
Launching low price entry products like the Nivea Care soap that retails for Sh45, Mr Levasseur, says is one of the ways BDF is engaging the low-end consumer.
Moving forward, Mr Bodson said BDF East Africa seeks to gain new customers by launching a consumer targeted road show across several major towns in Kenya, as well as reward its existing customers.
“We want to get closer to the Kenyan consumer and East African consumer, and moving from being only an international brand. That’s why you will see us in the road show in the coming months in 14 towns around the country, to meet the consumer and reward them for the last 100 years.”