FACC INTERVIEW: ANNE KUKKOHOVI FROM SUPERMOOD: “BEING FINNISH IS SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF IN THE BIG WORLD”
Supermood is a Finnish natural holistic beauty brand founded by Anne Kukkohovi. She is bringing her edible, topical and therapeutic beauty products to the U.S. market in the end of 2016. The idea for Supermood ignited during Anne’s modelling years when she suffered from allergic reactions. “My skin became very irritated, especially in the big cities. As my son was born 14 years ago, he turned out to be very sensitive as well. I started to investigate the nutrition and chemical load that we are exposed to on a daily basis and found out that there was no beauty brand that could answer to my needs on truly holistic manner“, Anne tells us. FACC interviewed Anne to find out how launching a beauty brand works in America.
What needed to be done to bring Supermood to the States? We’ve been preparing to enter the U.S. from almost the minute we started in Finland. We found the right partners surprisingly quickly and we have an amazing agent who has a clear vision of our future in the U.S. It really made a big difference that we were featured on a lifestyle website called Cool Hunting. As we enter the U.S., legal issues become very important. What is fine in the EU doesn’t apply in the U.S. We basically needed to redo all the packaging for the U.S. market. You need to be more conservative and cautious in America.
How did you research the market? We researched the market from every possible angle and had some professional help from the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce in New York. In addition to legal and practical issues, we did a huge amount of work exploring the market from a consumer’s point-of-view. Many hours of talking to experts, investigating consumer behaviour, trends, forecasts, finance… The list goes on. And will go on. This is just the first step, I can’t wait to see where we are after 5 years.
Do you plan to cooperate with U.S. bloggers or beauty writers? Of course! It’s a big part of PR and brand recognition. As we are a small brand, we must win opinion leaders’ trust and make them love us. We’ve had plenty on contacts already, but we want to have our retail up and running before starting the PR stunts. It takes a lot of planning. There are so many channels and bloggers with different followers and approaches. In a small country like Finland it’s quite easy to find the right people. With bigger markets we need to plan strategically.
How do you think being Nordic benefits your brand? We first thought that “Nordic” would be the keyword to make people perceive our origin. But our clients in UK, Korea and U.S. actually want us to emphasize that we are from Finland. It has a very positive image and is something to be proud of in the big world. For our clients it means honesty and purity with a twist of weird originality.
What would be your dream retailer in New York? We are already negotiating with our dream retailers that do business all over the States. I’m so, so excited about that! But being able to enter the biggest luxury department stores like Bergdorf Goodman is my dream. And dreams tend to become true if you work hard for them.
What would you say to a beauty company entering the U.S.? Be honest and original, find your unique x-factor and believe in yourself. That goes into any business, all over the world.
What are the hottest beauty trends right now – any types of products New Yorkers must have this season? It’s definitely something called “cold-pressed beauty”. Less ingredients, no processing and extremely high standards in the ingredients are the most desirable criteria at the moment. Everyone living in a big city should also use some detoxifying and cell boosting products like glutathione and collagen. I think your best beauty accessory is a glowy, youthful skin. Read more about Supermood here.
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