Estée Lauder Building 2nd 'Home' Market in China

Osiao strives for local authenticity
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2012 11:51 AM CDT
Estée Lauder Building 2nd 'Home' Market in China
In this Nov. 2, 2011 photo, Estee Lauder products are displayed at a department store in S. Portland, Maine.   (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

Estée Lauder already sells most of its brands in China—but now it's working on a new line specifically designed for the Chinese market. Osiao skin care products "will give consumers a sense of being local, of being really dedicated to them," says CEO Fabrizio Freda. With a US-based company behind an Asia-centric product, analysts point to questions of credibility. But Estèe Lauder is taking huge strides to ensure that Osiao is authentic. "We are doing this with our local people and they do understand what they are doing because it is their culture," Freda notes.

The company has been examining Asian skin types for years, as it has conducted extensive market research. In the process, the firm learned that local women value clear, bright skin—hence claims the brand will "help renew skin’s youthful radiance." With customers interested in medicinal plants, the company has included Asian herbs and mushrooms in products. "Osiao" is five letters, a Chinese lucky number, and the "O"s on both ends of the word are meant to suggest harmony, the New York Times notes. The company is deeply invested in the region, hoping to make it a "second home market," says Freda. (More Estee Lauder stories.)

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