Home Manchester Beauty brand blends business strategy to target new overseas markets

Beauty brand blends business strategy to target new overseas markets

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Sarah Cross

CODE Beautiful, a Manchester-based beauty brand, has its sights set on expanding to the U.S. and South Korea after success in exporting across Europe.

The business has been creating beauty products, including mascara and lip-plumping treatments, since 2014. Its vision is to create products that beauty fans cannot live without, four of their products won Beauty Shortlist awards in 2018.

CODE Beautiful products are sold online via its website, as well as through retailers like Beauty Bay and Harvey Nichols.

The firm started working with the Department for International Trade (DIT) in 2015 to get support to develop and execute an exporting strategy. Its export sales now make up more than 10% of the company’s turnover with customers in France, Ireland, Spain and Scandinavia.

CODE Beautiful is now focusing on strengthening its position in the U.S. market. Additionally, the company is exploring expanding into South Korea, a trend-setting country for the beauty industry.

Sarah Cross, Founder of CODE Beautiful said: “Exporting is a huge area for growth for the business but at the start of our journey we knew we needed to find help in order to be successful. It was daunting at first as I didn’t know where to start, but DIT trade advisers helped me build relationships and source potential buyers in overseas markets.

“We worked with DIT to adapt our packaging to suit different overseas markets and reflect changing consumer tastes and languages. We also gained valuable support in understanding what shoppers in different markets want from customer service teams and social media content, meaning we now have dedicated teams for every country in which we operate. As a result, we are now seeing success of international customers buying directly from our website.

“We are now much more confident about exporting and it is so rewarding. We have truly seen the business benefits and believe that if we can do it then other businesses can too.”

Paul Stowers, Acting Regional Director at the Department for International Trade for the North West, said: “CODE Beautiful is a prime example of a business from the North West thriving through trading internationally. There is huge demand for British goods overseas and DIT is available to help local businesses start exporting by advising and supporting them wherever possible.

“Of course there are challenges that arise when exporting which need to be considered but we have a team of International Trade Advisers across the region to help businesses understand and learn about new markets. If you think exporting might be for you, please get in touch and find out how we can help.”