Lime Crime depended more on word of mouth than advertising when it expanded into China last year. The Chinese laws made it impossible to market the line as they do in the U.S. and Europe. Kim Walls, Lime Crime’s Global General Manager knew she would have to find a different tactic to be successful in China. Cosmetics could not be sold in China without animal testing if they were purchased from vendors within the country, so Lime Crime had to sell their vegan cosmetics directly to the consumer.
So the next hurdle was advertising the non-animal tested cosmetics to the Chinese woman. This action alone, was filled with logistics hurdles. Lime Crime had to handle international returns, calculate duties and taxes and figure out how to manage the Chinese customer’s inquiries in America. Another hurdle they encounter was the existence of counterfeit Lime Crime makeup in the Chinese market. Last year over a million counterfeit units were sold in China. They decided Lime Crime was not equipped to handle the multitude of unique challenges this market presented.
So, they decided to partner with someone who had all the tools needed already. They selected Revolve, a fashion company based out of Los Angeles, California. They were in the process of expanding into beauty products, so they were open to partnering with Lime Crime.
Next, Lime Crime wanted to get the word out to the Chinese consumer. They had to know where Lime Crime could be purchased. By word of mouth through a number of influencers, Revolve was clearly identified as the only legitimate company selling Lime Crime to the Chinese customer. These women are truly Lime Crime fans and they aggressively spread the word to their fans and followers. By the time Lime Crime was ready to be sold by Revolve, the customer knew where to go to buy it and there was no need to be concerned about the mountain of deterrence’s the government rules would have created for Lime Crime sold by Chinese retailers .