Japanese cosmetics group Kao has announced a reorganization its brand portfolio in order, among other things, to improve its international growth in the prestige segment. The group has separated brands into two distinct groups: one gathers 11 global brands and the second encompasses 8 regional brands, mainly sold in Japan.

Within the international portfolio, premium prestige brands (Sensai, Kanebo, est) will receive special focus. Sensai, which is currently marketed in 40 countries in Europe and the Middle East will be expanded to other global markets, in particular in China in 2020.

Sensai will be launched in new international markets across the globe, including Japan and China. A new flagship store will open in Tokyo.

The prestige skincare brands est and Kanebo will expand their value-added product lineups and embark on a style of brand communication with a more defined world view.

Eventually, the international reach of the RMK and Suqqu brands will be increased with a focus on travel retail business, and

Suqqu will be expanded at the international level, with a special focus on travel retail.

Kao will also expand the international presence of the three mass brands within the global portfolio - the skincare lines Curél, freeplus and the makeup brand Kate. Curél will be launched in Europe and in the US in 2019, while Kate, which holds strong positions in Japan, is expected to become Asia’s No. 1 makeup brand.

As far as domestic brands are concerned, Kao will be reclassify its brands into “counseling” (beauty counselor retailing at stores) and “self-service” categories. The group will also be reviewing brand strategies for every distribution channel.