Shalin Balasuriya, together with his brother, have created a mini-revolution in the cosmetic, bath product and spa industry. A large part of this disruption is driven by brand-building and a rigorous focus on details to heighten the emotional appeal. With growth options limited in Sri Lanka’s small market, Spa Ceylon was conceptualised to go global.
Spa Ceylon started as an Ayurveda personal care brand and has since grown into a wellness lifestyle brand. It’s gone from cosmetics to body, bath and beauty products, and then added clothing, music and tea. “Everything is very consistent with our brand identity and what our consumers would find meaningful,” Balasuriya says.
In a world where food can be delivered to your door in minutes, with a supermarket at each street corner, Spa Ceylon is ensuring that they’re also placed to fulfil the need for instant gratification and to maximise convenience for their customers.
Spa Ceylon is now an international brand with outlets in Asia, Europe and the Americas. But, balancing focus —global vs local—is something that Balasuriya is keen to continue. It’s ideal to have Sri Lanka as an incubator for certain products and have complete control of the channel, from manufacture to the frontline. This gives Spa Ceylon an immense amount of data on each product.
“We track everything,” says Balasuriya. “From customers reaction, store location and shelf position, we get to see it all.” The data is analysed before decisions are made to take new products global. What’s interesting is the sheer number of spas and boutiques Balasuriya is opening in the island with some, such as in Negombo, positioned close to one another.
Balasuriya explains how the phenomenon of instant gratification has driven the demand for each outlet and says that each store turns a profit. For Spa Ceylon, this is all part of a strategy to customise experiences. Each outlet has been crafted to deliver a signature in-store affair that appeals to the emotions.
The packaging is trialled on focus groups. Store elements like decor, lighting, music and even fragrance at each location are all customised. In a world where food can be delivered to your door in minutes, with a supermarket at each street corner, Spa Ceylon is ensuring that they’re also placed to fulfil the need for instant gratification and to maximise convenience for their customers.