Kao Partners with Alibaba to Reach Chinese Market



Kao is a popular Japanese makeup company that has had great success in Japan. However, the company is now setting their sights on what China has to offer. In order to reach the Chinese market, the company is working with Alibaba to set up a shop on Tmall Global. Kao is hoping to expand their consumer base, sell more cosmetics, and reinforce their worldwide brand image as a producer of quality cosmetics.

The Brand of Kao

Although Kao is already a fairly popular brand in Japan, Kao wants to ensure that their brand name is known throughout Asia, not just in Japan. Hence, why the company has decided to work with Tmall Global to expand their consumer base. Along with their move to Tmall Global, the company has been investing in development overseas including an expansion of manufacturing plants in Thailand and Indonesia. All of these decisions are done to reinforce their brand name and ensure that shoppers both recognize and prefer their brand name over others.

Their venture with Tmall Global is set to happen any day now, as the company gave an estimated date at the beginning of November.

Why Make the Move to Online Retail?

Though Kao is a name that is known fairly well in Japan, many wonder why they would take the risk of entering into the Chinese market when their brand image is firmly tied to Japan. One reason is that the Chinese market is always expanding. Last year alone, there was an increase of 28% of new buyers that purchased via online shopping. Though this percentage may seem low, this figure actually includes millions of people. Kao is hoping to get in on this new buyer market and give their products a chance to thrive in the Chinese market.

Along with this aspect, Kao knows they have a quality product that Chinese consumers will want to buy. Several companies have done in depth research about Chinese consumers and what they want and will buy. What it simplifies down to is a quality product, manufactured by a quality company, at what the Chinese consider to be a reasonable price. Kao is offering all three aspects to Chinese shoppers, along with the added benefit of being an authentic cosmetic company from Japan–something that is likely to help the company stay strong on Tmall Global.

Only time will tell how well Kao performs in the market. However, with their preparation, attention to the Chinese market, and the actual product being offered, they are sure to be a hit with Tmall Global shoppers.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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