Sebamed’s skincare sachets for new Indian markets

Aggressive communication and strategies for market expansion

German skincare major Sebamed recently introduced sachet packaging for its personal care range to capture the Indian market.

German skincare major Sebamed has recently opted for sachet packaging for the Indian subcontinent. The brand intends to kill two birds with one stone in this segment by capturing an increased slice of the Indian personal care market, and simultaneously cutting costs. 

A relatively recent entrant to the Indian skincare market, Sebamed currently retails its product line in 50 major Indian cities through a network of 60,000 retail outlets. It plans to double its reach to 100 stores by end-2022. The company generated a revenue of Rs 600 crore (approximately Euro 72 million) in its India sales last year. 

Sebamed’s initial market play in the country has been to advertise the chemical and pharma-like attributes of its products and by getting doctors and dermatologists to recommend or prescribe its offerings. Its controversial front-page ad campaign in newspapers in 2021 promoted its soap range by showing the pH levels of competitor soap brands including Hindustan Unilever’s Dove, Pears and Lux brands. It is now keen on adopting alternate routes to capture the domestic market.

Sebamed India introduced its skincare and baby care sachet packs priced at a reasonable Rs 10 to provide first-time users an opportunity to experience its premium range of skincare and baby care products. It had earlier introduced miniature pouches of its complete shampoo range and received a favorable response from the target market. 

The multichannel and multi-format approach seems to be working well for the company. By bringing down the introductory price points of its personal care range, the company plans to expand its reach in the domestic market, by capturing the neighborhood kirana stores and the aspirational demographic in smaller towns and cities across India. 

Other expansion plans include targeting a ten-fold target increase in revenue from Indian sales over the next five years. The company is also mulling local manufacturing to cut down its currently high import costs. Sebamed has enlarged its advertising spend by three times in the past three years as it entered the market with the aim at rapid expansion. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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