▷ [Interview] How to build a historic brand in niche cosmetics?

I interviewed Olga Do Nikitina, President of Klytia Paris since 2019. Klytia is a premium luxury cosmetics brand specializing in chronobiology. In this interview, Olga tells the brand’s marketing strategy with the importance of development in China. We also discuss the renewed notoriety that will be a fundamental theme for Klytia in the coming months…

What is Klytia’s story?

Klytia is a historic brand founded in Paris in 1895 by an entrepreneur. It is the brand that is at the origin of the world’s first beauty institute.

Klytia was successful at the beginning of the 20th century. It was already exported to more than 40 countries around the world (Vietnam, China, Egypt, Mexico, Spain, etc.) before there was internet.

What was your priority when you took office in 2019?

We took over the brand just before the start of Covid. During the Covid we have taken the time to update the range of cosmetic products. In terms of marketing and sales, we started online distributors in China.

You should know that our logistics system allows us to deliver anywhere in the world. Then we implemented Chinese translation and payment methods on our website.

We are of course present on Chinese social networks such as Weibo or Wechat and Red Book, since in China they do not have the same networks as us. We used the Covid to create our accounts on it.

Gradually, our stores in China were brought online to be able to cross-board.

And your goals in the French market?

We want to be positioned in B2B on luxury e-commerce platforms, which corresponds to our product range.

Today the brand is present French beautya marketplace that helps us sell our products to professionals.

In B2C, we are initially aiming for awareness rather than profitability.

What works well for us are influencers, whether on the networks or on YouTube.

We also have a lot of traffic coming from our Instagram account. We run competitions and even partnerships with other industries like hospitality to reach our audience.

We are also using Pinterest more and more and want to keep developing it. Pinterest allows us to show different things like packaging.

Do you measure the different traffic sources?

Pinterest brings us a lot of traffic from the United States. In France, it’s more like Facebook and Instagram. The problem with Instagram is that the traffic is a little less targeted.

Depending on the traffic sources, there are multiple levels of engagement. This is important to distinguish customers who came to buy from those who came to discover the products.

What have you done to keep your customers?

In terms of loyalty, we have email campaigns. We regularly offer offers, especially at important events such as sales.

We’ve also set up automated post-purchase or abandoned cart processes on Sendinblue. The advantage of this tool is that it is quite easy to use.

If you had to remember one thing you set up that worked well?

I think it’s the small visual campaigns, almost unprofessional, that we prepare and broadcast on our networks. Things that have had little or no photoshop, it’s all about showing things as they are.

We also know that rural people need to see people who look like them. It’s more interesting than a perfect model with no flaws. Consumers identify more with these people.

Do you do your marketing in-house?

At the moment we have started to do this in-house, but we also have freelance service providers to manage the website. It is true that the company is starting to have quite a heavy workload so we are planning to acquire an agency in the coming months.

This will primarily be used to manage our campaigns on Facebook and Instagram and then gradually add Google Ads. It’s good to outsource this part at some point.

Why Facebook Ads instead of Google Ads?

If the consumer searches for a moisturizer on Google, they might see 1000 hits. And if the brand is not known yet, I don’t think he will go to this brand. It’s better to spread the message first with pictures, photos, before and after, etc.

We also specialize in chronobiology, so it needs to be explained what it is.

Is the goal to outsource everything?

I think we’ll keep some of the internal communications like texts because it’s important to be in control of the message. We know best how the brand is developing and what it wants to bring in the next 2 to 6 months.

According to what criteria do you choose the agency that accompanies you?

An agency specialized in our field (cosmetics) that already has the know-how and experience to know how consumers react to this type of product would be ideal. And I also know that there are agencies that specialize more in Facebook Ads. These are important criteria for us.


I like to learn from a discussion. Here’s what you can remember:

  • The Covid has turned the way we work upside down. And like any unforeseen event, you must take advantage of it to move forward. Klytia worked on her lines while production was in slow motion;
  • The best market is not necessarily local. Klytia generates a large part of its sales (CA) with China;
  • Ecommerce platforms are an interesting way to supplement your sales without having to carry out marketing actions. Klytia is positioned on platforms specialized in luxury cosmetics, consistent with its positioning;
  • Each communication channel positions itself differently in terms of conversion. At Klytia, Instagram is a channel that brings traffic but little conversion;
  • Authenticity is the key to modern communication. Klytia encourages communication with little or no Photoshop and instant content;
  • Facebook or Google ads do not correspond to the same topics. If one starts from a consumer request, the other must create a desire. Klytia prefers to raise awareness on Facebook before moving to Google.
  • The message of a brand is the focus of communication. Brands can be wary of outsourcing it. Klytia wants to keep control of it.

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