Nivea is a major global skin and body care brand owned by Beiersdorf, a German company founded in 1911. Its first products is an oil-based emulsion skin ointment named EUCERIT that was the first stable emulsion of its category. The owner, Oskar Trop lowitz, named the company NIVEA, which was inspired by the Latin word niveus,-a,-um (means white as snow).
In Europe, Nivea has become the representative of skin care. Nivea products in the categories of body care, face care, sun care, lip care, personal cleansing and men’s skin care already have a large market share in Europe. In December 2018, Nivea was listed The World’s 500 Most Influential Brands in 2018 ranking 204th.
Nivea officially entered the Chinese market in 1994. With the good reputation that Nivea has built up in China since the 1920s and in line with the scientific and rigorous entrepreneurial spirit of Beiersdorf AG, Nivea has become the skin care brand that Chinese consumers are willing to get to know and use it in just eight years.
In 1994, Nivea (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. was established as a joint venture between Beiersdorf and another Chinese company. In February 2001, Nivea (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. turned into a wholly owned subsidiary of Beiersdorf Germany in official process.
It can be traced back to 1930 when Nivea moisturizer in blue tubes firstly entered the Chinese market and soon spread throughout major pharmacies and department stores in Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing, Hankou and Guangzhou. In a short time, it became a skin care product for all ages and all seasons. When China implemented the reform and opening up in the 1980s, Nivea represented the first international skin care brand to return to China.
In 2007, Nivea’s parent company, Beiersdorf, acquired an 85% stake in C-BONS Cosmetics, a subsidiary of the Chinese company C-BONS GROUP, for $374 million. Chinese shampoo and personal care brands such as Slek and Maestro were also acquired.
On October 8 in 2018, Nivea Men released a customized energetic gift box which was exclusive launch in JD Beauty for the new ambassadors. All 20,000 sets were sold out after its launch thus it ranked No. 1 in JD Beauty Men’s Skin Care Set on October 8. (JD Beauty: an independent beauty vertical marketplace on the JD platform, which is one of the most popular comprehensive shopping sites in China)
On the day of professional campaign named JD Super Brand Day, total transaction amount on October 15 in 2018 of Nivea Jingdong Self-operated Flagship Store was three times as the total sales in the promotional campaign on June 18 in the same year and the 2,000 sets of WAKE UP special gift boxes especially for live were all snapped up within three minutes. (JD Super Brand Day: an activity carried out by JD in conjunction with its settled merchants, in which the participating merchants set their own “brand day” for the year; JD Self-operated Flagship Store: Stores opened by JD. The logo of JD self-owned will be appeared below the store name in the website.)
In 2019, Nivea achieved sales growth of 4.9% in the first quarter. At the onset of the epidemic in 2020 , Nivea sales declined organically by 6.0% year-on-year. Nevertheless, it maintained a firm position in all categories worldwide and achieved increase of market share in more than half of the countries.
Nivea has also adjusted the layout of its brand strategy and put more energy into the research and development of new products with the aim of meeting demand of more high-end consumers in first-tier cities and serving people from different level.
First of all, Nivea divide into three categories of market channels in China, the first of it is the new channels mainly for young consumers such as e-commerce, Watsons, etc and the selling products enjoys new and noble style. The second one is the traditional channels mainly for ordinary consumers such as Wal-Mart, RT-Mart and other traditional stores, and the products should have high quality. The third one is the bottom market including rural consumers and the products are good cost-effective.
In the next step, Nivea launched first Essence Intensive Maintenance Ampoule “Lock Fresh Small Q Bottle” containing coenzyme Q10 in 2020. The birth of this product was significant for Nivea further promoting the implementation of a consumer-focused and layout strategy for the women’s skincare category.
Not only that, Nivea’s parent company Beiersdorf launched its accelerating program NX China into the Chinese market with the aim of selecting promising emerging brands for investment in the Chinese market in 2021. Besides that, Beiersdorf has established its second largest R&D center in Shanghai in addition to its German headquarters, which will support new product development in Northeast Asia with a focus on the Chinese market as well as in emerging markets.