TONYMOLY is a Korean beauty brand founded in 2006 that makes some of the cutest products we’ve ever seen. in-cosmetics Korea interviews Mr Kim, Seoung-cheul, Marketing Director of TONYMOLY in Seoul, Korea.
1. TONYMOLY is famous for its fantastic skincare in adorable, wacky packaging. Where do you get your inspiration from? And who is the main creative genius behind your design?
TONY means charming, stylish in English. In Japanese, MOLY means a container that carries all stylish things. And we believe that, while effectiveness is definitely important in terms of what we value in a product, we cannot lie. Sometimes, it’s all about the packaging. As for the design, we have been inspired by everything around us that helps us to represent the concepts and ingredients of our products. Such designs are the result of active communications among all employees including Chairman Mr Bae, Hea-dong.
Q2. Tell us more about your ingredients, most of them very familiar to Koreans but less so to outsiders, eg donkey or camel milk and vegetable placenta. What are your priorities when selecting ingredients? What do you see as your main challenges when sourcing new ones?
There are a variety of natural ingredients derived from plants, animals and minerals. Some of them are structurally similar to human skin and contain substances which are safer and more effective in improving the skin condition. TONYMOLY seeks natural ingredients that improve skin without irritation to serve the customers and carries out differentiated marketing strategies. Recently, the market trend as well has been going towards proposing diverse natural ingredients in a customized way, and customers also prefer cosmetic products made of organic and natural ingredients rather than chemically synthesized substances.
Q3. As you are always on the look-out for the next big thing in beauty, what do you see as the next big trend in Korean personal care and why?
Personal care is moving in two directions – technology and safety.
To keep up with the new social trend focusing on “my own value”, intensive care customized according to individual skin conditions has been on the rise, which has been proved by the growing market of derma-products that remind us of dermatology clinic services.
Another issue is the safety of skin that can be represented as environmental friendliness and EWG (Environmental Working Group) verified. Consumers who did experience their skin getting sensitive due to various reasons are more cautious and meticulous about individual ingredients. They pursue beauty in a healthier way, therefore it is expected that this issue will be more important from now on.
Q4. TONYMOLY is already present across Asia but also in France, Russia and the USA. What can we expect from TONYMOLY in 2017 and beyond?
We have plans to expand our current strategic partnership with Sephora Europe to launch make-up products, followed by skincare. The kick-off of our make-up products in the European market where is the birthplace of cosmetics is a very meaningful event so we have a high expectation for this. In 2017, we will be making inroads into the Latin American and Canadian markets and will also increase the number of our brand shops in Mexico, Columbia and Chile. I think that TONYMOLY products will be available on CS channels as well. In the U.S. we will open new new brand shops on a regular basis. In April 2017, a new store in Pakistan (a new market, launching through a CS channel) is scheduled to open, and in Japan, our rate of sales shows a steady growth by virtue of releasing new products in March in drug stores and variety-stores. Plus, in an attempt to take the lead in strategic markets we have plans to deploy more stores in Vietnam and Malaysia and expand our sales products in Sephora in the Middle East.