Herborist: the Chinese Premium Brand of Cosmetic

Herborist China

Herborist or 佰草集 (“Bai Cao Ji”) is the only premium brand of Chinese cosmetics that succeeded in its business in Asia and Europe. It’s brand from the Jahwa, a Chinese cosmetics group, created 110 years ago in Shanghai.
The principles of this brand are Chinese traditional medicine and organic cosmetic in Europe.


The Chinese brand chose to differentiate its communication per continent.
In China, Herborist succeeds in giving an international and contemporary dimension, with a modern logo, high-end communication, a high-quality packaging, “worthy of the best” (Estee Lauder, Lancôme…)


The logo has a really refined style, and the range of products is really feminine.

Description of the product:

The Middle Empire reveals its beauty secrets: discover the power of its precious plants. Herborists feeds on ancestral knowledge from the Chinese herbalist to create exceptional products: a subtle meeting between traditional knowledge and the most innovative formula from contemporary cosmetic. By revealing its massage rituals, Herborist suggests a unique experience of beauty and welfare.




The brand’s marketing in China is a success and has been realized by a French agency called Cent Degres.


The range of products Herborist is not that different from its competitors, presenting face cream and moisturizing face masks.




The packaging


The real force of this brand is its packaging, really attractive and different.
The “Tai Qi touch” attracts the eye and permits to the product to be different in distribution.
The choice of the color « green » reminds nature but in a modern and innovative way. Result: the product has a good differentiation from its competitors in sales points.
The package looks like “premium and luxurious », all in surfing on the organic trend.

The national references of each brand, like Shiseido= Japanese purity, MAC= American sexy, Lancôme= French elegance… (See the brand of cosmetics in China)

Herborist will be the natural Chinese medicine. These innovations are in perfect harmony with the market trends for organic and natural products.
The brand Herborist is cleverly differentiated by integrating the benefits of Chinese traditional herbal medicine, associated with modern biotechnology.

An image of tradition, of a nature associated with innovation, has permitted this brand to be well-placed and get rapid success.


Since 2008, the brand is distributed in France in Sephora. Sephora has many shops in the world and a website of online sales which proposes the products of the group Jahwa. In China, there are Herborist’s shops and you can find its products in many stores in China, with about 800 in the country.



Magazin Herborist

Their products are also presented in the Herborist Spa which was opened in 2012, and propose the products of the brand and unique treatment.



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The price positioning of the Herborist creams and cares for skin is high for its high-end brand image.

The success of the brandmarketing-Herborist

The products of the Chinese brand won the consumers’ confidence in China and in Occident in 4 years. What a great performance!
Conclusive proof of this success is the increase in the share value of Jahwa. The Chinese cosmetic group is proud of its flagship brand and has launched a perfume, the first Chinese one. Know that the leading cosmetic group in China has another brand less known:

• Chinfie – luxurious cosmetics (online sales)
• GF – cosmetics for men approved by « Tony Leung »
• Maxam – Skin cares for mature women
• Cocool – Make-up for a younger market

Successful marketing of a Chinese brand

In a few years, the brand has managed to establish itself in a highly competitive environment with high barriers to entry.

While local competitors have failed to launch a brand Yue Sai as the brand Herborist has to rely on foreign agencies to settle the problem of lack of expertise in branding luxury in China.

The same problem may result from the case that happens many times that local brands may lack ambition or prefer to use local agencies for their low-cost marketing.

Result: they all focus on the price and eventually find themselves all in dilemma, or further decrease the price, or quit. Good indicators of the success of the brand Herborist are taken as an example in the sphere of marketing in China.

The Herborist is an example of a successful premium brand and it is made ​​in China.

See the case study on a premium brand made in China

You can also read our full guide on the Top Marketing Strategies to Succeed in the Beauty Market

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