Thursday, 27 September 2007

Coffret D'Or

As reported earlier, Kanebo will be debuting a new so-called "total makeup brand", Coffret D'Or to replace T'Estimo, which has been Kanebo's mainstay color makeup brand in Japanese drugstores since 1991. In a marketing tactic that is a direct copy of Shiseido's successful Maquillage and Tsubaki campaigns, the advertising campaign for Coffret D'Or features five top Japanese actresses who will be able to appeal to a broad segment of Japanese ladies. They are Tokiwa Takako (35 years old), Nakatani Miki (31), Shibasaki Kou (26), Sawajiri Erika (21) and Kitagawa Keiko (21). Tokiwa, Nakatani and Shibasaki are the more established of the lot with many high-profile movie and television drama roles. Nakatani is actually my favourite Japanese actress, thanks to dramas like Merry Christmas in Mid-Summer and movies like Christmas on July 24 (7月24日通りのクリスマス).

The color makeup line will debut on 16 December in Japan and the base makeup line will follow in March 2008. Coffret D'Or's brand philosophy is to help each woman discover her natural beauty and to achieve a refined elegant look. The key words for the spring makeup collection are "active" and "luxury". Two new key ingredients were created for Coffret D'Or. The first is "Translucent Pearl" for enhanced translucency and glow. The other is "Fruits Complex", a moisturising blend of extracts of almond, yuzu (Japanese citron), raspberry and almond oil for the lip products. The product list is as below:

1. Full Styling Rouge (Color) - 10 shades
2. Full Styling Rouge (Glow) - 10 shades
3. 3D Lighting Eyes - 5 palettes
4. Color Blush - 4 shades
5. Shiny Carat Gloss - 5 shades
6. Natural Clear Liner (eyeliner) - 2 shades
7. Star Dazzling Liner (eyeliner) - 2 shades
8. Designing Mascara (Volume) - 1 shade
9. Designing Mascara (Long) - 2 shades
10. Designing Mascara Base

Unfortunately, Kanebo has decided to go the "no print price" route with Coffret D'Or, just like Shiseido did with Maquillage and Kose with Esprique Precious. That means that the prices are not printed on the products and the drugstores are not able to offer discounts like what is regularly done for T'Estimo and Revue. So in effect, most Japanese consumers are going to be paying almost 40% more than before for similar products. For example, a T'Estimo eyeshadow quad is 2572yen after a 30% drugstore discount but Coffret D'Or palettes will be 3675yen. At that price level, Coffret D'Or is still cheaper than say Jill Stuart, Awake or RMK in Japan but one would certainly think a lot longer and harder before splurging on Coffret D'Or than for T'Estimo. Of course there are still cheaper drugstore brands like Lavshuca and Majolica Majorca, but there will be a gaping hole in the 2000yen+ category for eyeshadow palettes that are high quality, trendy but still affordable. Testimo and Revue will be phased out gradually after the introduction of Coffret D'Or.

But perhaps the biggest flaw of Coffret D'Or is that there isn't a sense of fun or inventiveness about the products or genuinely unique brand identity that can inspire the kind of fierce lemmings that Jill Stuart does so well. The products and shade selections look like they're targeted for an older age group than T'Estimo. It's like the suits at Kanebo just decided to do a re-hash of Maquillage, from the advertising strategy down to the staid, boring color palette, and not even a terribly creative re-hash at that. Kanebo hopes to achieve sales of 30 billion yen in Coffret D'Or's first year. As a comparison, Maquillage currently has annual sales of 50 billion yen.


Kathi said...

The new line doesn't appeal to me at all! Their lipsticks look so similar to T'estimo's very old ones just in a goldish color instead of silver. Compared to T'estimo's newest lippies in the cute tubes it's a step back for sure. And the palettes don't appeal to me either.
I am quite sad that T'estimo is going...I don't think Coffret D'Or will be a good replacement (at the time being at least...who knows what they're going to release later on)
Thanks for your long detailed information about the new brand!
I didn't know T'estimo has been around since 1991! =O

Amelia Yap said...

AGree with fleckenschnitte
The whole range doesn't stir up any lemmings at all. Considering also that the prices are going to be more expensive.
Will definately miss all the T'estimo eyeshadows.

hopefully they will reinvent themselves

Anonymous said...

This was an extremely well written post. Thank you for the information and the insight into the workings of Japanese makeup branding. :)