Capitalizing on past success, Design Essentials seeks to expand into new markets abroad. A recent journey to Nigeria by executives from McBride Research Laboratories (MRL, the parent company for Design Essentials), served to assess the viability of entry into this emerging market. While there, MRL Chief Executive Officer, Cornell McBride, Sr., discovered more about the landscape of beauty and the demand for Western hair care products and hairstyling trends.
Design Essentials joins L'Oreal and Soft Sheen Carson, which have both established a presence in Nigeria as it is one of the fastest emerging MINT markets (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) for increased consumption in beauty, fashion and all things luxury. The increasing disposable income available in Nigeria coupled with growth among the female youth demographic and the rise of the Internet and cable television, are fuelling exposure and the desire to replicate global celebrity.
During his trip, McBride was invited to appear on CNBC Africa to weigh in on his interest in expansion. "You have a renaissance across Africa," says McBride. "We don't seek to just bring products to sell, but to bring manufacturing and create jobs and opportunities."
McBride Research Laboratories is partnering with local business developers Compass Consulting to provide direction on launching into the market. Following the success of the model built in the U.S., Design Essentials seeks to replicate its strategy of partnering first with the salon professional and establishing a network of entrepreneurial distributors who supply the products to individual territories. In time, demand will lead to the establishment of manufacturing facilities to increase production capability, shorten fulfillment time and lower shipping and retail costs for Nigerian consumers while creating employment.
Both the Design Essentials Salon System as well as the Design Essentials Natural collection are being earmarked for rollout in this market. While the natural hair movement is not as pronounced as in the U.S., there is evidence of increased interest in women wearing their hair in its natural state, which will require styling and educational efforts from the stylist community.