The brand offers hair care rituals and home care products in more than 350 salons across 30 cities including Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow etc.
In light of the challenging situation brought about by the global pandemic in 2020, the luxury hair care brand created an opportunity for its salon partners by launching a pioneering SoComm platform in order to reach out to new and existing consumers and give them the convenience of having their luxury hair care delivered to their doorstep. "Being where the consumer is, is critical for any brand and all the more important in today's scenario! For our partner salons to stay ahead of the curve and better service the needs of their consumers offering a platform for online purchase was key. We launched a Social Commerce platform in 2020 to enable our salon partners to grow their consumer base via digital activation and hyper local media advertising. This year we continue to strengthen Social Commerce with improved features and simplified back-end management systems for our salons to be able to accelerate their business", says Rachit Mathur, GM, Kerastase India Q: How does Kerastase plan to promote Vocal for Local in India?
A: Kerastase has been serving Indian consumers for almost 15 years now. We bring high quality products with efficacious ingredients to our loyal consumer in India through our network of luxury partner salons across the country. Our consistent investment in educating hairstylists, developing the luxury quotient in salons and creating awareness among the right consumers has helped us grow successfully in the country all these years (we should talk about consumer experience here). Any new strategy formulated by the brand is always designed keeping the interest of our salon partners at the forefront.
Q: How are you coping with challenges faced due to pandemic situations and what are the solutions according to you?
A: When the Covid-19 lockdown began, we worked closely with our salon partners to explore and activate a home delivery model, which enabled our customers to place orders for Kerastase with their salons and have their products delivered to their homes. Since this strategy was well received by our partner salons, as well as our end-consumers, we decided to launch our own Social Commerce channel. In simple terms, Social Commerce -- or SoComm -- is the sale of products and services through Social media channels be it Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc.
Q: What steps and measures are you taking in terms of innovation and pulling business?
A: For a growing luxury brand like Kerastase, in a market like India, creating awareness and ensuring the right consumer experience is our primary objective. Over the years, we have been focussing on creating high quality content and ensuring extremely precise targeting especially on Social Media. Our success with reaching out to new consumers and catering to existing consumers through Social media has, in today's scenario, given us the confidence to open up a completely new channel of Social Commerce working in tandem with our salon partners Consumers today are looking for authenticity/performance and most importantly experience when it comes to dealing with brands. And this makes Social Commerce such a natural fit for the Salon Industry -- it is based on the unique relationship shared between the "Expert" i.e. the salon, and the end-consumer. The platform lets salons offer potential and existing consumers the opportunity to discover, consider, consult with an expert and finally make a purchase -- all online using social media platforms. The beauty is that this Social Commerce model gives consumers the convenience of an online experience, without eliminating the personalisation and human element of the salon/hair expert conversation.
Q: Kerastase India's Social Commerce platform is a unique way of reaching out to consumers, but how receptive are consumers towards it?
A: We are humbled by the loyalty and love shown by our customers. Despite salons being shut, we have a constant flow of consumer queries asking us how they can still access products from their favourite luxury haircare brand. Our Social Commerce platform was launched early July 2020 and we are extremely excited by the initial feedback and are still learning new things every day. Enabling Social Commerce with our salons is our way of meeting customer needs through the salon channel. The platform has been successful and very well received by our salon partners.
For us, this model is here to stay. What is important to note is that our platform is ever evolving and we are constantly fine-tuning it to make it as beneficial to our salons and consumers as possible.
Q: How do you ensure proper sanitisation when it comes to providing services through #KerastaseAtHome campaign?
A: Kerastase partners with only the most luxurious salons across the country. These salons follow the most impeccable standards of customer service, safety and hygiene.
Q: What marketing strategies are you going to follow in the upcoming phase?
A: We plan to do more of what we do best! Introduce the Kerastase Experience to more and more consumers. We will do this through an array of marketing initiatives including social media, in salon activations and influencer marketing. In 2021, we have introduced Sampling by offering two complimentary Kerastase sample sachets on all orders. This way the customers get to experience more of Kerastase's offerings.
Q: What is your strategy when it comes to influencer marketing? How new and upcoming influencers can join the team of Kerastase?
A: For a niche experience-driven luxury brand like Kerastase, engaging and working with the right kind of influencers is very important. We have an international property called the Kerastase Club, which includes advocates and friends of the brand. We launched the Kerastase Club in India with a group of 30 real users of the brand. These are our real customers of Kerastase who are happy to share their experiences with the brand with their followers. We regularly work with the Kerastase club to curate content across product usage, in-salon experiences, and new launches. As you may already know, recently associated with Alaya F as well for our Genesis campaign.
Q: Kerastase works in collaboration with different salons, are there any plans for the opening of Haircare salons by Kerastase in the future?
A: Our strategy is to continue to work and grow with our partner salons. As always we continue to look for the right kind of business collaborations to bring the best of luxury haircare to our customers.