Makeup brand Marie Dalgar (玛丽黛佳) get Chinese media excited. To Jumeili (聚美丽), a Wechat account specialized in the beauty industry, the brand founder, Masa Cui, could be a Chinese Coco Chanel.
« The first Chinese makeup brand to be sold at Sephora. » To the Chinese media, the listing of Marie Dalgar (玛丽黛佳) products with the LVMH group’s beauty chain in China since 2017 is the first step leading to the brand globalization. In August 2018, with the slogan ‘be inspired’, the French agency BETC launched the first advertising campaign of the brand.
At the end of 2018, the brand entered Singapore via Sephora. To Mary Dalgar’s CEO, Chen Haijun (陈海军), interviewed by economic news website Yicai , Southeast Asia is only a preamble before Europe and the United States. « Worldwide markets will represent 20% of the brand business within 5 years », he said. Wechat account specialized in the beauty industry Jumeili (聚美丽) details the strong points of the brand, more than ten years after its set up in 2006. Here they are summarized in five points:
A charismatic founder
Masa Cui (崔晓红) was an engineer for a lighting factory in Foshan, Guangdong Province, southern China. Tired of her grey working environment, she created a more colorful world by founding her makeup brand Marie Dalgar in 2006, when she turned 33. To Jumeili, this story telling, as well as the visionary talent of Masa Cui, evoke a Chinese Coco Chanel (photo above, © Jumeili / WeChat). On a Yicai video, Masa Cui fills the screen with her unconventional look and effective messages. One of them: « Consumers today do not need products, but information, to guide them in their thirst for change and transformation. »
In its early stages, the brand was noticed for its “grafting” mascara, especially adapted to the short and sparse eyelashes of Asians. « It lengthens eyelashes by 300% and increases their density by 700% », according to Jumeili. For its part, the brand says one mascara is now sold every 15 seconds in China. Its latest launch: two eye shadow duos that « give depth to the eye, in only one application. » (Photo above, © Marie Dalgar / Instagram)
To explain its 57% average annual growth in recent years, Masa Cui told China Daily that « advertisements are not effective in reaching consumers, but innovative products are, as they have helped our brand make direct and deep contact with our customers. »
No stars, but cobranding
Marie Dalgar does not recruit muses or ambassadors but rather relies on cobranding. In 2017, the brand teamed up with global fast-food franchise KFC for joint campaigns and advertising activities, (pictured above, © Marie Dalgar / WeChat) « which generated 1.4 million visits to Marie Dalgar’s e-store on business-to-consumer online retail site Tmall, and CNY 12 million in sales », according to China Daily.
Playful and automatic distribution
In 2015, Marie Dalgar launched lipstick vending machines throughout China. The shopping experience is like a video game. « Every day, 400 to 500 consumers make purchases from these machines », according to China Daily. Three years later, the brand widens the concept by introducing « the first unmanned cosmetics stores », called Togo (photo above, © Yicai).
Sponsorship and collaboration with artists
Every year, the Marie Dalgar Crossover Art Project is held in China. The brand invites artists to express themselves by using its make-up products. For example, fashion photographer Paco Peregrin chose the theme ‘Facing’ in 2015. The following year, photographer Damien Dufresne opted for ‘Through your eyes’ . For its products packagings, Marie Dalgar can also call on artists, like the young Chinese artist JINLE, invited to celebrate the year of the pig (photo above, © Marie Dalgar / WeChat).
« Like Coco Chanel, Masa Cui is subversive. She breaks with the traditional codes, has an entrepreneurial spirit with an artistic sensibility. These qualities will enable her to stand out in this highly competitive industry », concludes Jumeili. She will not be short of challenges, indeed. Give confidence in ‘Made in China’ makeup will not be the least.