Luis Martínez Lavin
Industrias Lavin de México
View from the Top

Quality, Affordable Products Position Mexican Giant Globally

By Gabriela Mastache | Wed, 03/25/2020 - 17:41

Q: What opportunities do you see for Industrias Lavin’s continued growth?

A: We have achieved significant growth in the area of personal care products in Mexico, and we believe there continues to be room for more. The success we have had is based on our knowledge of the market, product R&D and our clients. We have focused on being extremely productive. Our mission is to help improve the quality of life for families through manufacturing and offering them personal care products of the highest quality at the best market price. Our products can be found in almost all the main supermarket chains and at an affordable price, however we still have opportunities of improvement in our distribution channels.

In the export arena, we have great opportunity to further position our products in Central and South America and in the US. We believe that our product portfolio can make great fit with the Latin American consumers needs in these countries.

A new path that we will be pursuing, is to venture in the OTC market, which is interesting for us. We have a great deal of experience and in the cosmetics market, were regulatory conditions are fairly similar to the OTC, so we think we could be really successful and offer consumers excellent products at lower prices than the market has today.  We have taken the decision to build a factory that will be dedicated exclusively for OTC products, that will start operation in the third quarter of 2020.

Finally, I believe that there is also an interesting opportunity on selling our products through different E-Commerce platforms. Today Mexico´s personal care products ecommerce sales are still low compared to retail´s; however, we believe digital is the future so we will be working on our ecommerce sales and distribution channel.

Q: How does Industrias Lavin work to communicate the advantages of its products not only to consumers but also to its commercial partners?

A: We focus to communicate our product advantages and differentiation directly through our product labels because we believe it´s a good and efficient way for our consumers to receive the message. At the end of the day consumers make their purchase decision right on the point of sell and there is exactly where we are communicating our message.

In addition, we recently launched a communication campaign where we focused on positioning our brand on an emotional level with consumers. Through our 34 years of experience we had focused on communicating tangible benefits of our products like price, ingredients, quality, therefore this time we tried a different approach to position our brand on an emotional level. This communication campaign included: TV Spot, Branded Buses, Subway Advertising and Social Media.

Also, one element that has always helped us is word-of-mouth and recommendations. Talking with consumers, they recognize that the product quality we offer is real. People want high quality products that are affordable and when they like a product, they will promote it themselves among family and friends, in effect doing the marketing for us.

Q: What type of investments do you make to ensure that Industrias Lavin is always innovating and what type of new business lines are you planning to introduce?

A: We are always analyzing where the market is going. It is something we see directly at the point of sale and we are very agile when it comes to following market trends. We believe that natural products are in vogue, people are looking for them, however today these types of products are expensive or have higher prices. Therefore today, our R&D department is conducting multiple researches in order to find a way to reduce costs and at the same time have natural products with really good performance.

We are also investing on the construction of a new R&D lab where we will be not only working on product development but also focusing on the development of new materials that are more cost effective and competitive. This will allow us to reduce even more our costs and to be more competitive. Our new R&D lab will be launched mid-2020.

Q: How does Industrias Lavin tackle the challenge of quickly responding to market needs?

A: We do this by using sales and market information. The retail market has the great advantage of having real-time information regarding the performance of the products. If you know how to use it, then you immediately can see how a product is performing or areas of opportunity. To manage a company, it is important to have the appropriate models, for areas ranging from product development to the potential success of the product you launched. However, you need to be constantly monitoring performance and have the appropriate complement at the point of sale. The point of sale is key for us, as well as maintaining a good commercial relationship with our partners.

Q: How important are export operations in the commercial strategy of Industrias Lavin?

A: Export operations is very important for us because it represent a very attractive source of growth and it also represents a high level of demand on our own processes and way of doing things. The US market is a very competitive one with high standard regulation, this help us improve and do things better in other markets.

Today we are already exporting products to the US and Central America, however, we need to create more alliances and continue expanding to the south of the continent, to places like Colombia and Peru. This will help us to increase our production volumes in order to be more competitive and reduce costs.

Q: What are the logistics challenges that the company faces to maintain a smooth commercial operation?

A: Firstly, I believe that our main challenge on logistics is to be able to maintain the same distribution cost percentage as our industry benchmark, this can be challenging due to our low prices. Secondly, globalization is constantly pushing us to look for better and more cost-effective suppliers. It is not enough to have the best suppliers in the country; we have to be sure that our suppliers are the best in the world so we can maintain our advantage and leadership and at the same time guarantee the best product quality.

Photo by:   MBP
Gabriela Mastache Gabriela Mastache Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst