THE first local Aveda shop was set up in the Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur, in 1996. Although many well-heeled Malaysians and foreign tourists have confidence in this hair shampoo and body care brand, not many people are familiar with the woman who brought Aveda to this country.
Christine Wong, who owns Aveda in Malaysia, plans to introduce this brand to more Malaysians by opening a few experience centres in major shopping centres in the Klang Valley this year.
Aveda products, which are primarily derived from plants, include the hair-care range, skin and body-care products, make-up, as well as salon and spa products.
We want our customers to come and experience the products in our centres. We offer them personalised treatment from scalp and hand massages to ritual organic tea, which we will serve when they visit our shop.
We believe in establishing a long-term relationship with our clients and when they are happy with our products and services, they will undoubtedly come back for more or even recommend the brand to their friends, she said.
According to Wong, Aveda's advisors are day makers as they are trained to serve sincerely and passionately so that customers will have a memorable time at the centres.
To maintain the level of professionalism among the employees in the company, Wong sends them for training overseas on a regular basis.
She stressed that there was no end to learning, and a skilled and knowledgeable employee would become invaluable assets for Aveda.
What the customers are looking for is beyond a material need. They are, in fact, seeking sincere advice, attention and care.
They need a relationship and connection with the sales person and Aveda; and because the sales person offers them these precious things that they are looking for, they will no doubt buy the products, she said.
Wong truly believes in the brand and has confidence that it will make a successful and endearing presence in the Malaysian market as it is doing well in other countries.
Unlike other brands, US-based Aveda has a unique concept and marketing policy, which does not advocate hard selling. It believes that customers are won when they receive the sincere attention and advice from the sales person as opposed to aggressive marketing and promotion.
The company focuses on organic plant ingredients and on protecting the environment.
Based on the Indian ayurvedic tradition of nature and lifestyle, the Aveda name is derived by combining the word veda which means knowledge in ancient Hindu and A which means all hence all-knowledge.
Aveda was founded in 1978 by Horst Rechelbacher as a professional salon product in Minneapolis, the US. The Austrian-born son of an herbalist and naturalist is an active environmentalist, innovative business leader, author and artist. In 1997, Aveda became part of the Estee Lauder group.
The Malaysian outlet is owned and managed by CNF Marketing Sdn Bhd.
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