Above: left to right; Joaquín Serra and Jose Villegas
Joaquín Serra, senior executive vice president of Natura Bissé, and Jose Villegas, chief business development office for the Spanish skincare brand, talk the company’s business strategy, beauty from within and that famous pure air bubble
Joaquín Serra: Our strategy at the moment is to get more presence in the countries we’re already in, more than [about focusing] on opening in new places. There is still a lot of potential presence in the markets we are in already, a lot of things to do. It’s better to focus where you can [continue to] grow and to plant seeds where we know they will bear success.
JS: We are selective about the locations we go into. We are thinking about maintaining the brand; about long-term gain and the reputation of the brand. That’s our strategy.
JS: We opened our UK office in Marylebone in London at the end of 2014. We have international offices in the US, in Mexico, in Dubai and now the UK. We’re very excited to be in the UK and really want to go after this market. The brand is still not that well known in the UK, though we have very good brand recognition within the level that we [operate] in, which is the higher level of the market.
JS: We are focused on the skin: We don’t have makeup or hair products; it’s all about the skin. Part of the future is taking care of the skin from the inside out and we have just launched the Beauty & Go beauty drinks [the drinks launched in the UK in March]. It’s a joint venture between us and Spanish company AMC Group and it’s a totally new approach for us.
JS: We have spent a lot of time researching, developing and testing this product and we are very, very happy with the effectively of it. There is a lot of potential with beauty drinks and we’re considering launching the drinks in the US and worldwide. We’ll see what happens here in the UK and then we might go to the US market [and other international markets] with them.
JS: The US is a very important market for Natura Bissé: We’re spread between department stores, independent retailers and spas, which is a perfect balance. The brand could belong in doctor’s offices as well, however. As long as it’s a luxury segment, a higher tier of the market, then it’s the right positioning for us.
JS: Natura Bissé is a very results-driven company, but we don’t use machines. We don’t use machines because the products have a very high level of active ingredients, and they will do the work. In spas, we want to give people results, but without sacrificing the spa experience; it’s not fun to be in a beautiful spa but have [the noise of machines].
JS: We are focused on experiences, which includes the pure air bubble. The bubble, which gives you 99% pure, clean air, is an amazing experience. Our customers are very, very loyal to us, so we want to reward them with great new experiences with the brand.
Jose Villegas: Sometimes we move the bubble around and this bubble tour has worked out very well. We can easily move it from one place to another, so sometimes we ship it to spas, if they’re having a big event, for example. You can create a spa environment with the bubble almost anywhere; we play music in it and create that spa environment no matter where it is.
JS: Some spas will potentially get their own bubble, eventually. We are in the process of discussing this at the moment.
JS: If you were to use one word to describe us, as a brand, I’d say it would be honesty: We are an honest line. We do what we say. We deliver what we promise.