By Emma Clarke

How are your nails looking today? Shiny? Colourful? Naked? Being an affordable but luxurious treat, the popularity of manicures has boomed during the recession. In Britain, sales of nail polish went up by 14% in 2012.

However, several companies aren’t content with filling up nail bars in the U.K. Instead they are looking to export their product abroad, using a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to raise the bar.

L’importance de l’image

It might be quite surprising to find out that Ciaté isn’t a French company; instead it was founded by the British based nail artist Charlotte Knight. It proudly states ‘vernis à ongles’ on the label and even the tiny black bow on the bottle screams Parisian chic. The company name is in fact an acronym of: Colour, Innovation, Aspiration, Trend, and Extraordinary. This shows that you can choose how your business is perceived.

Make sure that your business stands out: be creative and be the first

Ciaté and Nails Inc receive a lot of press coverage because they are always the first  companies to release a new style of product. Other cheaper companies tend to copy, but if you want to be on top of the trend you have to buy Ciaté or Nails Inc. Being a leader rather than a follower means that Ciaté can ensure that their brand evokes glamour, after all, I think we’d all rather have ‘velvet’ nails rather than ‘furry’ ones. Ciaté nail varnish is now stocked both online and instore in the following places: USA, Canada, the Middle East, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Hong Kong. Could your business find ways of making your products more innovative?

Could your business benefit from your country’s image abroad?

Rather than emulating Gallic charm, Nails Inc promotes the ‘British’ brand. It’s quite reassuring to see that ‘Cool Britannia’ isn’t just a 90’s fad. Each nail polish is christened with a different London street name, like Kensington Park Road and Baker Street. Nails Inc is now available in: the USA, Canada, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy Greece, Luxembourg, Monaco, Denmark, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden and Singapore. Paradoxically, perhaps if you want to think global you should think ‘British’. In French Nail Inc’s names stay the same but the descriptions and colours are translated. Specialists in localisation and transcreation know which parts to translate for clarity, and which parts should be left in English to add to the brand’s mystique.

 

Target the market

Both companies have selected the right markets for their products. Ciaté is right to target North America first rather than France, a country which appreciates fashion but prefers a more traditional look than ‘3D caviar nails’. From a language perspective, unfortunately the word ‘ciaté’ does not exist in French. Both brands have avoided Islamic countries where pre-prayer rituals involve washing the hands, arms and face completely with water – including nails. Targeting the right countries is just as important as translation. A translation company employs specialists to advise you, ensuring that your brand reaches the appropriate markets.

Net those profits

£14.6m was Nails Inc’s turnover in 2011. So which blend of qualities is necessary to give your business a polished finish in terms of profits? According to Nails Inc and Ciaté; innovative products and a strong brand identity linked to nationality will ensure that your company will weather the recession with no chips or cracks.

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