How Forest Essentials Grew to Success
Updated: Jul 18
Forest Essentials is a luxury, ayurvedic, personal products brand that caters to a growing customer base, both in India and internationally. The Forest Essentials success story started with a small startup by entrepreneur Mira Kulkarni, which began in New Delhi in the year 2000, selling natural handmade soaps and candles. This company later branched into various other pure, organic skincare and haircare products, following a unique Forest Essentials business model.
Genuine love for one's product is an essential element of starting any business, and the Forest Essentials success story is rooted in a passion for clean and pure personal care products made with natural ingredients found in India. They identified their customer's pain points and created their vision around a need for nature-inspired self-care, a concept that was beginning to catch on at the turn of the century in the urban Indian markets, where there was a growing consciousness of the chemicals in personal products.
Forest Essentials took inspiration from the old Indian principles of Ayurveda, using naturally sourced plant, tree, and herbal ingredients from the Himalayas in the preparation of their skincare, haircare, cosmetics, and perfumes to achieve this goal. Their brand messaging is 'Luxury of Purity. Pure. Fresh. Seasonal. Natural', a message that is clear, simple, and remains true even to this day.
In the skincare brand case study of Forest Essentials, one can see the impact of having a big hand in success. Within two years of operation, Forest Essentials had its first big customer, The Hyatt in Delhi, introducing its product as a part of their room amenities. Striking a partnership early in its journey with global cosmetics giant Estee Lauder was another strategic aspect of the Forest Essentials business model, which helped the company move into the international retail space. Today, their products are available in 120 stores around the world.
While the company's core target demographic remains younger women, they can easily capture the attention of secondary target markets like older women and younger men, with product lines geared toward their self-care needs.
Pricing is another challenge for most companies when they start out, and it's important to have a clear idea of the pricing niche you hope to fill. In the case of Forest Essentials, the pricing strategy is in the tagline of its company, 'Luxury Ayurveda,' which points to a higher price tag that is well worth paying for a luxurious experience.
Forest Essentials has opened 70 stores in India and 120 internationally while also selling its products online, something that is especially relevant post-COVID-19 to retain the attention of its loyal customer base. This cosmetic business case study shows how with their local clientele in place and their international presence continuing to rise with Estee Lauder increasing their stake in the company, Forest Essentials seems to have a headscarf in a highly competitive race.
A clear, consistent vision towards self-care and Ayurveda brand messaging that is on-point with its target market are the main winners in this skincare brand case study. This company effectively practices the old business wisdom of 'start local, go global,' proving once again that customers are willing to pay the price if they perceive consistent value in a product.
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