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Gabrielle Shaw Communications led brand strategy and PR to launch sustainable luxury Ayurvedic beauty pioneer Forest Essentials into the UK via London media, influencers, store retail and D2C digital customers.

First UK Foray For Luxury Indian Skin and Haircare Brand

AMBITION

GSC was tasked by Estee Lauder-backed Forest Essentials to establish its blockbuster ‘Made in India’ range as the first global luxury Ayurvedic brand for holistic well-being. Its sustainable approach using natural Himalayan Forest ingredients for skin and hair products, along with a foundation in ancient wellness rituals was a perfect match for GSC’s own committed practice in luxury, sustainability and beauty.

Covid delayed the opening of Forest Essential’s international retail flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, pushing it to 2022. GSC’s team pivoted to raise awareness through educating the market on the brand’s centuries-old provenance, combined with its pioneering luxury position.

 

APPROACH

Year One. The delay allowed for launching online first. GSC developed and activated a layered UK PR strategy to grow equity and desire for Forest’s vast repertoire of fresh seasonal formulations. Focus was on key message creation, earned and paid media strategies, influencer engagement, events and a robust PR calendar in step with pandemic disruption.

 

Year Two. Following bespoke brand positioning for the UK market, and dynamic online sales via Look Fantastic, the store was set to open November 2022. Bridging online sales with seeding store success, GSC invited key media and influencers to a lavish Forest Essentials VIP Event at the Lanesborough Hotel in October. Celebrating the store launch, the gathering brought key luxury sector players along on the brand journey. In November GSC hosted press and influencer store on-to-one meetings along with live and virtual sessions with the in-house Dosha. GSC’s dynamic press office pitched and secured features in top titles.

OUTCOMES

Forest Essentials made a spectacular transition from top of India’s Ayurvedic luxury market to international success story. GSC curated the brand for the UK market, with an e-retail launch supported by tactical media buying, press and influencer relations, partnerships and events. Targeted paid and organic promotion online brought success to the brand’s digital UK commerce over the pandemic.

For the Covent Garden store launch, brand desire was driven by a 360-degree campaign resulting in top-tier earned media seeding and coverage from prestige titles including The Evening Standard, The Independent, Marie Claire, The New York Post, Beauty Bible, The Handbook, Glossy, Red Online, London Unattached and Absolutely Magazines. Twenty-five appointments were conducted with premier journalists and influencers. As part of a micro-targeting strategy, 200K online followers were reached when beauty influencers including Aaliya, Mira Manek and Courtney May Briggs attended store appointments and posted on their stories.

The brand’s founder Mira Kulkarni has been lauded as visionary founder of this unique, sustainable luxury brand. Its success in the UK market continues to gain momentum for the upcoming festive season.

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