Falling Head Over Heels for Lovekins​

Helping an authentic Australian skincare brand grow in both sales and aspirations through the creativity of Access. In elevating the brand from $1.6 million to over $50 million in year on year growth, Lovekins has solidified its place in the Chinese market.

Founded by Chinese Australian Amanda Essery, Lovekins was born of Amanda’s desire to incorporate the best qualities of her childhood in Darwin into her products: fresh air, clean water, and organic produce from farmers markets. It began after one of her children was born with eczema, and when the prescribed medicines were unable to soothe the irritation, Amanda honed in on the need for natural skincare products. She was delighted her own handmade solutions worked and in 2016, Amanda launched the Lovekins natural skincare and wellness company.

Lovekins was available in a range of Sydney stores and Australian pharmacies, as well as online. Consumers who discovered the brand, loved it, and Amanda felt there would be opportunities to take Lovekins into the China market. After several ineffective attempts to export, Amanda engaged Access to find a solution and help the brand reach its potential both in Australia and internationally.

The team at Access immediately understood the importance of Lovekins’ original, clean Australian ethos as a core brand value, and its distinct premium positioning and began developing strategies that would tap into the inherent desire of women to take care of their children and themselves. Access saw the opportunity to create a brand that encompass a holistic and enviable lifestyle in its entirety. The range was expanded with new products in personal care and nappies developed but rather than trusting its instincts, Access insisted on product testing by real people.  It engaged 100 women to test and review every element of the product, design, look, feel, quality and efficiency, and these were finetuned to maximise their appeal.

Access recommended adding Lovekins ambassadors who exemplified the brand as Australian mothers and women – Alicia Coutts (Australian Olympic swimming champion), Tori De Jong (leader of Social Mummy community), and Madelyn Carafa (co-founder of Healthy Hustlers)–  to help to bring the Lovekins story and values to life. It worked. Through sponsored posts on the ambassadors’ social media platforms, advertisements in women’s magazines, product sampling and exciting events hosted by brand ambassadors across Australia and China launching Lovekins Women, the brand blitzed the market, highlighting its authentic positioning and premium qualities.

Working with Access means brands may need to be open to doing things differently to inspire people and gain attention.  For example, fun events may be one way of educating consumers, but sometimes providing a real-life experience works well.  It is how Amanda Essery found herself whisked off to visit the Moree cotton farms with a number of resellers/Key Opinion Consumers, which use sustainable practices to grow the cotton used in Lovekins products, so they could see the quality first-hand and share this knowledge with their customers.

The work Access did with Amanda and Lovekins went well beyond what many would imagine creative ‘brand management’ to be, and included ensuring all aspects of her operations from supply chain to manufacture, were ready to scale up to meet anticipated demand.

This comprehensive approach, its ability to quickly test and finetune products and its acute understanding of Chinese consumers’ needs, Access successfully helped achieve more than AUS$50 million total GMV for Lovekins in 2019, up from just $1.6 million the year before, and the strongest categories were the new ones, recommended by Access – Lovekins Women and Baby Nappies lines.

“Working with Access has grown Lovekins far faster and better than I could have imagined,” said Amanda Essery. “They have really invested in me and the brand. It’s a wonderful partnership and I’m excited about what the future holds for us and the brand.”