Insights on global expansion from Boticario Group’s CEO at NRF Big Show 2017
Boticario, the largest franchise system of perfume and cosmetics in the world, was one of the best features during the NRF Big Show 2017. For us at VTEX, this was a monumental event, as we have partnered with Boticario and their subsidiaries for quite some time now. This brand has done amazing things for the worldwide industry of beauty, and being a part of their omnichannel success is one of our greatest accomplishments.
During their presentation at NRF, Boticario Group’s CEO, Artur Grynbaum discussed the complexities, challenges, and accomplishments of thinking outside of the standard retail box, and expanding into the global market. As part of NRF’s global growth guide segment, Boticario was featured alongside Hobbs and T2 Tea as brands that have smoothly made the transition from domestic to global. Grynbaum further shared a variety of insights taken from the experience of growing beyond domestic borders, into the international realm.
VTEX has long been immersed in the world of global digital commerce, and we are exceptionally proud of the efforts of Boticario and their impressive expansion. Artur Grynbaum’s emphasis on unifying commerce was especially notable; we see this as one of the key factors relevant to global expansion. Boticario Group holds the largest cosmetics retail footprint globally, and the company consists of four brands: O Boticario, a high-end cosmetics and perfume company focused on quality; Eudora, an omnichannel option with top of the line products; quem disse berenice? A specialist makeup retailer; and The Beauty Box, Brazil’s largest multi-brand makeup and beauty specialty store chain. Combined, all four brands have over 4,000 points of sale.
Grynbaum discussed the challenges of global expansion and explained the differences his brand experienced between exporting goods and expanding globally. Boticario places such an emphasis on telling the story of the brand, and the customer experience in regards to the structure of the brand, that simply exporting was not an ideal model for starting their expansion. According to Grynbaum, when considering global expansion, brands have to consider a variety of factors. His advice is to be sure to conduct ample research and survey a diverse array of categories. Focus on the aim to offer the promise of the brand; don’t compromise what you’re known and loved for in an effort to expand. Using Boticario as an example, for shoppers the in-store shopping experience is of absolute importance, the store is the pillar.
Additionally, Grynbaum asserts the importance of understanding the shopping patterns of the customer. Boticario found that during their initial expansion into Portugal in 1986, language was not a guaranteed anchor for success. Considering that Brazil and Portugal were so different from one another, both in culture and shopper profile, a great amount of versatility was necessary for this expansion. Research, along with trial and error enabled them to make wiser decisions that ultimately resulted in establishing successful operations in the Portuguese market. Hiring locally helped them to expand, because it enabled them to understand the market more easily. This allowed them to maintain their core values, without compromise in their expansion efforts.
Currently, digital is the daily model for Boticario, and it enables seamless interaction with all other parties. It enables the brand to maintain its presence globally, while staying true to their unique story and company culture. Artur Grynbaum’s advice to other companies eyeing global expansion beyond their own domestic territories? Don’t run before you can walk. T-models caused Boticario to spread themselves too thin; experience taught them better, and this has given them the strength and know-how to become the largest cosmetics company in the world.