Chemicals Research

Dynamics of the Post Recession Period for the Chemicals Sector – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

At least, that’s what Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr thought in 1849.  Last night I saw something that might suggest he was right but when I thought a little harder about it, well, I’m not so sure.

I was watching a TV broadcast about the celebration in Beijing of 60 years of communist government.  It gave me a sense of déja vu as I watched the missiles and tanks parade through Tiananmen Square under the gaze of the key political figures of today’s China.  It took me back to the early 60s, when, as a small boy, I would sit in front of our black & white valve TV as the BBC broadcast the Mayday parades from Red Square, Moscow.  The ICBMs, the tanks, the politburo sternly arrayed on their balcony – how similar it all seemed.  But then, how different China’s relationship is with the rest of the world, compared to the USSR of the 60’s.Continue reading

Key Lesson #6– Fish in China

Key Lesson #6– Companies that adapt to local needs and preferences will be most successful.

The old adage, “Think global, act local” holds truer than ever. Yes, the BRICs are in many ways homogenizing with the rest of the world, and consumers in these markets are embracing Western products and concepts, but they each still have unique histories, cultures, and characteristics that must be understood and appreciated.Continue reading

Growth Opportunities in Anti-Aging

New World Economy Drives Shift in Global Cosmetics & Toiletries Channels

Despite the global recession, the cosmetics and toiletries market posted a respectable 3.9% growth in sales in 2008, affirming that consumers will keep up their personal grooming and beauty habits no matter how dire the financial outlook may seem. But perhaps more important than the overall growth, the latest numbers indicate a significant shift in where consumers are shopping in nearly all of the major markets around the world. Channels that are posting declines in one market are experiencing growth in another. Marketers looking to compete on a global scale must stay ahead of the shift and examine local trends in retail patterns in order to compete in this complex market. More…

direct sales BRI

Key Lesson #4 – Direct sales plays a key role – do not underestimate these relationships.

Since 2003, direct marketing has been the fastest-growing channel in the worldwide beauty industry. Much of this growth has come from the BRIC markets.

In both Brazil and Russia, direct sales is among the leading outlets and accounts for 24% of total personal care sales. Consumers in both countries view direct sales as the go-to channel for high quality products. In China, channel share has nearly doubled to 10% over the last five years as a result of the enactment of the government’s Direct Sales Law, making it compulsory for direct selling companies to obtain a direct sales license.Continue reading

Chinese Finished Lubricants Market

Key Lesson #3 – Suburban and rural areas offer immense potential in all four BRIC countries.

So far much of the growth we’ve seen in the BRICs has been in the major cities. From Moscow to São Paulo, Shanghai to New Delhi, we can find modern retail concepts, Western brands, and savvy consumers. The channels of distribution have become quite developed, product awareness is high, and sales are well established.Continue reading

Asia-Pacific Finished Lubricants Market

Key Lesson #2 – All four BRIC markets embrace Western concepts and products.

Consumers in all four of the BRIC countries are gobbling up Westernized consumer goods in virtually every category—fashion, electronics, entertainment, and, of course, beauty. With increasing disposable income and a growing middle class, these products are more affordable than ever. Brazilians, Russians, Indians, and Chinese alike gravitate toward European and American fragrances, skin care products, and makeup more each year.Continue reading

Beauty Retailing in the BRIC Markets

Beauty Retailing in the BRIC Markets – Key Lesson #1

Last week at the HBA Global Expo in New York City my second presentation on the BRIC markets walked the audience through the various channels of distribution in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. We looked at food stores in Brazil, open markets in Russia, kiranas in India, hypermarkets in China, and direct sales and specialty stores across all countries, among others.

I wrapped the talk up with some key takeaways, some of which I will share with you now and in the coming days.

To start: Key Lesson #1 – The economic crisis is global. BRIC countries are more protected but are not immune. Continue reading

Global Lubricants Market

Global Recession Levels Serious Blow to Lubes Industry

The worldwide recession has sent the global lubricants market into a tailspin – even demand in the usually burgeoning Asia-Pacific region has slipped by almost 3%. But, while the global community may be “in it together,” the specific market drivers and impacts of the recession vary significantly from one geographic region to the next. Given this uncertainty, what might the finished lubes industry look like once the worst is over? Read more…