Guerlain: the conquest of Brazil’s beauty market

Perfumes & Cosmetics


When it comes to beauty, Brazil is a country of infinite potential. The third biggest local beauty market in the world after the United States and Japan, the country is experiencing constant growth and shows no sign of slowing down. The conquest of Brazilian consumers is thus a top priority for major players in the perfumes and cosmetics industry, including Guerlain.

According to statistics, Brazilians currently spend 11 times more of their annual beauty than the British. The double-digit market growth is projected to continue in the years to come. The country is the world’s No.1 consumer of perfumes, No.3 when it comes to cosmetics and No.5 in skincare. Success in Brazil depends on a subtle understanding of the consumers. Brazilians appreciate beauty novelties and have high regard for product quality, which Guerlain has been offering on the market for over 20 years. “The finest raw materials, constant innovation, creativity and audacious packaging make Guerlain one of the best known and most loved LVMH Houses on the Brazilian market,” says Jean-David Sebaoun, Guerlain Latin America Regional Director.

In 2011 the perfume House returned to LVMH subsidiary after a brief partnership with a distributor, aiming to consolidate the image control, service and distribution, in order to deliver the most luxurious experience to Brazilian consumers. The partnership with Sephora emerged as a natural solution, providing an opportunity to build a strategic relationship with the beauty retailer, which settled in Brazil in 2010.

Exclusively available at 14 Sephora shopping outlets and the retailer’s official website, Guerlain’s products currently rank 8th in the brand bestseller lists and the perfume House aims to enter the top 5 in the near future. Half of Brazilian sales are comprised of makeup, 30% are fragrances, while the remaining 20% are skincare products. An unrivaled bestseller in cosmetics, Terracotta can even rival Guerlain itself in recognition amongst the local public. Abeille Royale and Orchidée Impériale are absolute bestsellers in skincare, while La Petite Robe Noire, launched in the country this past April instantly became the No.1 perfume at Sephora.

So, what is the strategy to conquer the hearts and minds of Brazilians? They are avid travelers and are familiar with the products available abroad, which encourages Guerlain to be reactive in terms of the offering on the local market. “One of the key elements of Guerlain’s Brazil strategy is the respect of international release dates, which can be a challenge due to the logistics and administrative processes required for imports,” continues Jean-David Sebaoun. In some cases, the perfume House organizes a pre-launch for the products. Another element of the Brazilian strategy is product training for Sephora staff in their native Portuguese, enabling them to convey the unique qualities of Guerlain products to the customers at the stores.  Guerlain’s multidimensional approach is paying off. Without any media investment, the products of the French House are very well perceived by the local media and has ranked 10th in terms of editorial coverage in Brazil.

What’s next for Guerlain? Exclusive distribution at Sephora, reactivity to consumer demand, as well as the development of star projects remain the key objectives for the House. At the same time, it’s no secret that boutiques are an integral part of its origins, and it is only natural that one of long-term plans is the opening of a boutique on Brazilian soil.