Premium Beauty News - Can tell us more about your rebrand as Meiyume?
Gérard J. Raymond - That’s right! LF Beauty divested from Li & Fung in April 2018 and is now owned by the Fung Group (55%) and Hony Capital (45%). Since then, we’ve been on a transformation journey and believed it was the right time for us to take on a new brand identity that better reflects who we are, the values that make us unique, and our direction moving forward. Pronounced "may-you-may”, which is a fusion of Mei (美), Chinese for beauty, and Yume (夢), Japanese for dream, Meiyume marks our next chapter with a renewed focus on our business strategy of (Em)powering Beauty Solutions. At the same time we took the opportunity to restructure the company into three key divisions: Packaging & Turnkey Solutions, Retail Solutions and Brands.
Our company employs 2000 people across 5 production sites and 15 subsidiaries globally (including the US, France, UK, Germany, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong). More than just a name change, our rebrand represents a whole new philosophy and unique commercial and industrial strategy. The world has changed, and it is still changing every day at an exponential pace. The relationship between suppliers - like Meiyume - and our customers are and must be totally different. Simply producing is not enough to sell products to our customers, just like simply reacting to the needs of our customers will no longer suffice either. We have entered another world that’s digital and with fast-changing consumption habits where the old supplier and customer scheme no longer works. Moving forward, we need to empower and work as a collaborator with brands, retailers, start ups etc to help them find innovative solutions that shape their dreams into reality through experimentation & rapid prototyping.
Premium Beauty News - Would you say that listening, understanding and supporting customers have become cardinal virtues?
Gérard J. Raymond - In a way, yes you could say that. Rather than having this “supplier” mindset, we see ourselves as a collaborator. Customers today are forced to cope with huge constraints, truly unimaginable from just a few years ago, in terms of speed-to-market, quality, sustainability, social responsibility and consumer safety. Competition is accelerating Customers need support, advice, attentive listening and, above all, concrete results.
Premium Beauty News - Can you elaborate a little bit more on this idea of Meiyume as a partner to its customers?
Gérard J. Raymond - Our approach can be summed up by these four words: "Try, Learn, Improve, Apply". The idea is to create a true notion of collaboration with our customers by having them participate in brainstorming sessions where, through attentive listening, discussions and proposals, we then create solutions that are closest to consumers’ expectations. The key is to do this quickly. For instance, can we do in 9 months what previously took 18 months? That’s demonstrating our value. On our side of the partnership, we always adhere to the rule of never saying “I know”. Rather, our teams must listen, learn and start again until the right solution emerges. Our message to customers is: "Trust us, we are here to find solutions. We are creating the right links to help Beauty take on its full meaning. We are much more than a, supplier we are your collaborator.”