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April 10, 2012

World News

Avon, Oriflame Vie for Competitive Russian Market

Avon, Oriflame Vie for Competitive Russian MarketHow do you get your brand across to a largely uniformed mass market desperate to sample foreign beauty products? Convention dictates that you advertise through print ads, television commercials or, thanks to a globally connected world, social media platforms.

Or, you can sponsor a TV soap opera where the heroine, caught in the grips of the economic recession, supplements her income by selling cosmetics door to door.

That’s just what Swedish cosmetics giant Oriflame did to tout its products and recruit sales representatives in Russia, much to the surprise of its biggest competitor, U.S.-based Avon Products, Inc.

The two cosmetics companies have being going head to head over the Russian market since Avon arrived in 1990. And while the Russian economy has had its ups and downs in recent years, it was still a $3.3 billion-dollar market in 2010, placing it at No. 8 in Direct Selling News’ ranking of billion-dollar markets.

Both companies continue to implement business strategies that vie for the coveted cosmetics market, which accounts for one-third of all direct sales in Russia. Oriflame is focusing on attracting more men while Avon is appealing to the traditionally female-dominated sales force by supporting breast cancer screening and campaigning against domestic violence.

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