Established and founded in 1997 by Percassi, KIKO MILANO is an Italian professional cosmetics brand that features a range of cutting-edge makeup, face and body treatments. RLI speaks here with company CEO Cristina Scocchia to discuss how the brand has grown and what comes next.

Through its extraordinarily wide and diversified range of products, KIKO allows everyone to express their own personality with cutting edge products. KIKO’s identity is rooted in “Made in Italy” values and the world of the capital for fashion, art and design. The research into original textures and colours is combined with research into quality formulas with guaranteed performance, for a perfect fusion of quality and creativity.

The result of customer centric product development and the latest fashion trends, KIKO continuously renews itself with products that are always new and closer to the multiple ideals of beauty. Today the brand currently operates 900 physical stores across 21 countries, and has a presence online in 34 countries around the world. “In 2018 KIKO started the implementation of a three year strategic plan aimed at increasing financial and operational effectiveness,” explains Cristina Scocchia, CEO of KIKO MILANO.

“We have begun shifting expansion eastwards and are complementing retail with online growth, bringing a consumer centric marketing approach, with more focus on brand building, cost control and operational excellence.” Recently the company has opened its first franchise site in Israel, with the store opening at Ayalon shopping mall in Tel Aviv, with much more to come in the future. “We have a large development pipeline, with over 30 initiatives a year. But we like to keep our competitors guessing about what comes next, and keep providing our customers new beauty experiences they didn’t expect, with innovation, better service and ever more colour,” says Scocchia.

Though at its core it is an EU-based brand, KIKO understands the need to go where growth is, and that is towards the east. Asia is a key growth region for them, and they already have a presence in both India and Hong Kong. The company is also listed online via T-Mall China, where they have had stellar results. Though the region is highly competitive, the business will continue to grow in the Asia Pacific markets, through distributors, online and franchise operations.

Through the years KIKO has proven to be an innovative pipeline that is amongst the most agile and varied in the business. It is a global brand that offers the consumer the freedom to express themselves creatively, without compromising on wearability or affordability. The brand always wants to understand their consumer better, and is investing significant resources in achieving this.

“We have begun shifting expansion eastWards and are complementing retail With online groWth, bringing a consumer centric marketing approach, With more focus on brand building, cost control and operational excellence.”

“We offer a vast array of esthetic possibilities for our consumer, but we remain grounded in our Italian roots. Italy has been a beacon for esthetics since the times of the Roman Empire. KIKO being Italian has much to offer for a consumer who wants to unleash their creative side in a way that is and has been universally appealing,” explains Scocchia.

Social media plays a very important part of KIKO MILANO’s online targets, within a broader omni-channel strategy. Their online strategy involves better cross-platform functionality, with an omni-channel approach that integrates physical locations, e-commerce, mobile applications, and social media. Social media is, and will remain a key player within that strategic approach, but KIKO understands it is only one piece of the whole puzzle.

So why does Scocchia believe customers remain loyal, and what are the key drivers behind the brand’s phenomenal success? “We do not compromise on quality, and our products uphold the highest standards in the beauty industry all the while having very affordable price points, and as for key drivers, our creativity, our quality, our variety and our affordability, all offered with a customer centric approach in a dedicated retail space. That’s the KIKO way.”

The business is a highly entrepreneurial brand, which exists with a culture of creativity and quality, what KIKO does is offer its consumers the freedom to express themselves. KIKO is constantly committed to a single objective, and this is to allow all women to treat themselves to the most innovative cosmetics without having to break the bank. As we bring the interview with Cristina to an end, we ask, what lies ahead and what does she perceive to be the greatest challenge facing the company right now? “We believe in our current strategy moving forward, and in what KIKO can offer to the global beauty consumer, and while there are many challenges facing our sector, with the right strategy in place we can face the headwinds in front of us,” she concludes.