Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised November 2014)

TATCHA: Marketing the Beauty Secrets of Japanese Geisha

by Geoffrey Jones and Veronica Tong

Abstract

Case considers the creation and early growth of California-based TATCHA, a Japanese-themed luxury beauty brand. It explores how Vicky Tsai developed the concept, assembled financial and management resources,and launched the first product of Japanese blotting paper in 2009 using a grassroots marketing campaign. Identifying a 200-year old book employed by Japanese geisha, Tsai started to diversify her product line into skin and other cosmetic products. The case ends in December 2010 with Tsai receiving an acquisition offer, and debating the merits of exiting or continuing to build her business.

Keywords: cosmetics industry; Japan; Startup; entrepreneurship; Marketing; Entrepreneurship; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; United States;

Citation:

Jones, Geoffrey, and Veronica Tong. "TATCHA: Marketing the Beauty Secrets of Japanese Geisha." Harvard Business School Case 313-149, June 2013. (Revised November 2014.)