Beauty franchise brands focus on direct contact with customers and franchisees during the pandemic
While we focus on our mental and physical health, taking care of our self-esteem is also extremely important, even during the quarantine period. This segment continues at full throttle and, like others, had to reinvent itself to keep going on at this difficult moment.
Some examples in this industry are Yes! Cosmetics, a Brazilian beauty products company; Instituto Embelleze, dedicated to the qualification of wellbeing professionals; and the Boticário Group, a giant in the beauty and cosmetics sector that sells a wide range of products — all these companies are members of Franchising Brasil, a sector project for the internationalization of Brazilian franchise brands carried out by means of a partnership between the Brazilian Association of Franchising (ABF) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil).
Since stores are closed, the biggest challenge for beauty franchise stores was to reconnect with their customers and emphasize the importance of their products. Additionally to the online sales they were already used to explore, the companies started using the delivery system, thus making the entire process faster and improving customer loyalty by providing a high-quality service.
That’s the solution found by O Boticário, which met with its franchisees over the past few weeks to improve such system. For the Mother’s Day campaign, the brand got even closer to its customers via WhatsApp. The company took advantage of the omni-chat, a virtual assistant that identifies customers’ needs and transfers them to the store nearest to their homes, so that employees can proceed with customers’ orders. Then each store takes the responsibility of interacting with customers and managing the logistics for delivery. André Farber, vice president of franchise business of the Boticário Group, says that the company believes the key is the close communication it has been maintaining with its business partners since the beginning of the crisis. He adds: “A fast decision-making — safeguarding the health of employees and ensuring a sustainable business for the Group and the franchisees — certainly contributed to increase the reliability of the managing committee composed of several areas that are crucial for the continuation of the plan”.
André admits that the daily routine and the way people buy things changed dramatically because of the pandemic, for every company belonging to the beauty segment. O Boticário has learned what to do by observing its customers’ behavior and what other countries were doing to deal with the virus. The brand identified the different waves of the pandemic and the urgent need of personal hygiene products during the first one — on its online store, the company sells items such as hand sanitizers and soaps. Then O Boticário started focusing on products for the skin and hair and makeup for the eyes. “A close look at consumer’s needs must always guide our actions, from portfolio to communication and service”, explains André.
The Boticário Group informs that its administrative employees, who are not involved in manufacturing and logistic operations, have been working from home since the beginning of the quarantine. That has been the standard procedure for companies, as well as actions aiming at the maintenance of employment. By using strategies of collective vacation, compensatory time off and paid leaves, the group has been making all efforts to maintain all employees while safeguarding everybody’s health. The company says it has donated personal protection items such as hand sanitizers and face masks to over 12 thousand people who work in the group.
“Planning the future by taking all careful actions that may be taken now is a strategy that ensures business sustainability. It is important to pay attention to the signs the market gives you and to what your customers are saying. You have to understand that this is an atypical moment that everybody is going through, and that it requires a bigger commitment from all people. We have to provide good services while following safety and health guidelines. Crisis will pass; we don’t know how long it is going to take, but it will pass”, completes André Farber.
About Franchising Brasil
Franchising Brazil is a joint project of the Brazilian Franchising Association (ABF) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), which aims to support the internationalization strategy of Brazilian franchise networks and their international commercial promotion. The initiative was designed to promote this recognized business model in the main international markets.