How 171-Year-Old Legacy Brand Kiehl's is Revolutionizing the Indian Skincare Market
How 171-Year-Old Legacy Brand Kiehl's is Revolutionizing the Indian Skincare Market

For over 13 years now Kiehl's has introduced one of the finest skin care products in the Indian market. From its debut store in Ambience Mall, Delhi in 2010 to 16 boutiques and multiple digital touchpoints across the country, the brand has witnessed an upward trajectory. 

India is a diverse country with a wide colour spectrum, with each geography coming with its own set of skin concerns, it has been important to listen to and understand the unique skincare needs of the consumers. With Keihl’s 171-year-old rich legacy and DNA being built on giving individualized attention and service to its consumers, people have received the warmth and spirit of personalised service and active generosity well. 

“Our experts, who we fondly call Kiehl’s skin pros (KSP) serve as the true faces of the brand who offer in-person, thoughtful skincare consultations. As we grow further in the market, we will continue to put the ‘care’ in skincare through our efficacious formulas with our KSPs at the forefront,” said Priyanka Sachdeva, Head of Marketing, Kiehl’s India.

Skincare and personalised skincare is currently having a big moment. With the Pandemic allowing brands to re-evaluate their options and make conscious decisions, skincare has become an extension of holistic well-being. 
Today there is a lot more effort in trying to understand the ingredient, product and its efficacy before use and beauty as a construct has also expanded and is no longer restricted to a single definition or a group, so more people are keen to experience different products and learn about skincare. 

Kiehl’s has always been inclusive when it comes to skincare and provides products that are suitable for everyone.


Venturing into India

Sachdeva states that even a decade ago, the brand knew that India was ready for a major skincare breakthrough. Since consumers were well travelled and some even make trips abroad just to pick up their favourite products, grooming standards in the big cities were comparable to those of developed countries. 

Thus, Kiehl's entered India with a greater sense of purpose – brought to life through its approach to efficacious products, distinguishing community-based retail experience and socially-driven initiatives. “We maintained our niche by staying true to our brand philosophy and spirit of generosity ‘TRY before your BUY’, which is a century old but still so relevant and resonates with our customers. This made our consumers believe in us over the years and stay loyal," added Sachdeva.  

Options Galore

Kiehl’s provides head-to-toe solutions for all concerns. Although the brand has a wide range of products available in India, from skincare, and hair care, to body lotions and grooming products for women, men and children, it’s the brand’s highly efficacious Dermatologist Solutions that make it stand out.  Some of the products under this line, such as Clearly Corrective Dark Spots Solution, Powerful-Strength Dark Circle Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum, and Ultra Light Daily UV Defence Anti-pollution SPF 50++ are some of the bestsellers in India. 

In the 171-plus years since Kiehl’s first opened its doors globally, the brand has remained committed to its efficacy. It has always been the brand’s goal to create products that help address every skin concern. “We take care to source high-quality ingredients backed by science—and to do so responsibly. We source our natural ingredients sustainably when we can and work to lessen our environmental footprint when possible. Ultimately, we want to help our consumers achieve healthy-looking (and healthy-feeling) skin, while simultaneously working to ensure that we give back to the communities we work with,” asserted Priyanka.

The products in Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions collection exemplify these goals and can help provide the visible results associated with Kiehl’s skincare.

The brand is always looking for new ways to connect with its consumers and stay relevant to their needs. In addition to its existing portfolio, beauty tech is a space in Kiehl’s that is heavily invested in. The brand’s recently launched Healthy Skin Assessment (HSA) Tool helps in addressing the unique needs of different skin types and building customised and curated routines for the consumers to achieve their individual skin goals.


Keihl’s and Technology

Since skincare is not universal, the products that work for one person may not do the same for the next. Providing effective solutions to the customers’ skincare needs and concerns is of the utmost importance to the brand and technology helps in realising that mission. 

“We launched the Healthy Skin Assessment tool last year which has enabled our skin care experts to get data and information about our customers’ skin that the naked eye cannot assess. We have received an overwhelming response and walk-ins in our stores since the launch as we have been able to precisely identify unique skin strengths and areas of improvement of our consumers which has helped them reach close to their skin goals,” stated Sachdeva.

The brand aims to continue to invest in beauty tech space and is preparing to launch Derma Reader Pro, an advanced diagnostic tool, which helps in analysing 4 sub-surface concerns: red areas, emerging brown spots, UV damage and clogged pores, using tri-polar light technology. It is expected to hit the market by December 2023. 

Future Plans

Kiehl’s aims to bring unparalleled skincare experience across retail in different formats and digital touchpoints through a third-party marketplace with its inherent philosophy of personalised service and consultation. 

Witnessing an increased demand for targeted, effective skincare, especially from the next generation of consumers has allowed the brand to focus on bringing products packed with high-performance active ingredients that treat specific skincare concerns.  The brand further aims to penetrate into every city and make Kiehl’s a household name


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