Launched in 1983, four years after the first steps of Kanebo in Europe, the Sensai brand is the international flagship of the Japanese cosmetics giant. The brand is currently available in 4400 doors in 43 countries, mainly in Europe (34 countries) but also in the Middle East (8 countries) and South Africa. The main markets being Germany and Italy.
Signature ingredient and new design
“We want to transform Sensai into an independent global luxury brand, with both functional and emotional features, with a strong and consistent identity, in order to compete with French and European rivals,” says Yuji Naito, who has been responsible for revamping the brand since 2012. Mr Naito thus decided that all Sensai products would be reformulated with Koishimaru silk, the prestigious ingredient that originally contributed to Kanebo’s success in Japan. Into cosmetic products, this silk, an exceptional fibre once reserved for the imperial family, has exceptional moisturizing properties and can stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid. As a second step, the design
Simultaneously, the brand entrusted Gwenaël Nicolas, a French designer based in Tokyo and founder of the agency Curiosity, to fully rethink the products packaging drawing on the brand’s roots and DNA. Thus were born in 2012 the new packaging inspired from silk cocoons.
In 2013, the brands transformation culminates with the launch of the Ultimate Cellular Performance range, and in January 2014, Sensai Cosmetics Inc. is created to succeed Kanebo International.
“Sensai is one of the five key brands of Kanebo. It must become a major player in the ‘super prestige’ segment and is poised to become Kanebo’s first true international brand by expanding from Europe to Asia,” adds Yuji Naito.
The brand will therefore carry on to strengthen its ultra-premium offer by completing its Ultimate range and continue to differentiate from its competitors through its Japanese origins in particular by communicating on its “skincare saho” method, derived from the Japanese tradition of hospitality and service.
In September 2015, Sensai will launch its very first fragrance, based on the collaboration between Mary Salamagne, perfumer at Firmenich, and designer Gwenael Nicolas. Named “The Silk” (of course!) the fragrance will be available in two 50 ml versions: Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette.
“The fragrance will contribute to build the Sensai universe and reinforce the emotional side of the brand,” concludes Yuji Naito.
Entry into new markets will come next, with Asia as a priority.