Unlocking Synergy- A Brand-Trading Partner Collaboration- From Market Entry into Self-Reliance Operation

caseCalImg icon


casePersonImg icon

By admin*

social media


Vitabiotics, the UK’s largest & No. 1 Vitamins company, launched in China in 2014. Initially with a Mother Baby Store on Tmall Global.

Vitabiotics have a significant range with over 350 SKUs across Mother-baby, Healthcare, and Beauty categories. The decision to launch with Mother & Baby (M&B) was initially driven by demand from Daigou (private re-sellers) in China. Brands like Pregnacare also had the strongest international presence, with a substantial equity in the UK (Vitabiotics pregnancy range holds a 90% + market share in the UK). Additionally, at that time, M&B was the most popular category for overseas brands in China, driven by the success of international infant formula brands.

Tmall & Distribution

Once Vitabiotics was established on Tmall, they signed with several distributors, the primary partner being a key supplier of Aptamil to China. This further increased penetration through more channels & nationwide distributors. The success in distribution catalyzes further re-investment into brand equity & marketing, which further drove up sales.

Developing new categories

With an established base of revenue, Vitabiotics then sought to open new verticals, firstly in Health Care & then Beauty. Vitabiotics trade partner for Mother Baby was a specialist in their field but had limited experience in health. The challenge for Vitabiotics was the brand became associated with M&B in China despite its significant footprint as a Healthcare supplements player, boasting far more SKUs in this category.


Vitabiotics had to seek a Trade Partner with the right track record in Health Care.

Enter Up2China

Vitabiotics sought an entrepreneurial team that could devote the resources & attention required for the launch of pivotal brands, including Wellman, Wellwoman, Feraglobin, Ultra & Visionace.


Vitabiotics opened a separate healthcare store but needed another ‘springboard’ into this new category, an area they could carve out a reputation that would serve as a leader for the range. The choice was Visionace, with Lutein as a successful sub-category. The formula was comprehensive, price competitive & marketing plan key to Visionace’s success on Tmall.


Winning with Visionace sales (approx 10,000 units sold a month) – Vitabiotics Healthcare store was quickly well indexed & up-promoted. This led to greater visibility for the launch of other brands like Wellman, Wellwoman & Feraglobin.

Recruiting own marketing team

From day one, Vitabiotics took the marketing of the brand very seriously. Up2China acted in partnership as an incubator for the initial Vitabiotics team, supporting the hiring of their first operations manager, designer & social media manager. The staff was in the Up2China offices & the team quickly grew to 10 people as Vitabiotics developed live streaming resources, distributor development, e-commerce & marketing collateral.


The Up2China team welcomed this hybrid model. Supporting in hiring, training & best practices for the Vitabiotics team.

Developing distribution network  

With more SKUs in the market, Vitabiotics needed to develop its distribution network. Primary distributors could upsell to their sub-distributor networks, but with Mother & Baby, these were less relevant. Up2China supported Vitabiotics in sub-distributor development through Taobao distribution platform & others. They also endorsed with trade fair representation.


Success in e-commerce was a driver for further distributor uptake, with managing these relationships key.

Emerging channel development

Vitabiotics was one of the first overseas brands to launch on Douyin (China’s TikTok); this new flagship healthcare store was launched in partnership with Up2China. Co-investing & sharing revenue.


The live streamer resources were developed with transparency & full visibility, giving Vitabiotics a solid competitive edge. They could build relationships directly, only partially reliant on a TP partner. Live streamers find direct brand collaborations such as this favorable. The live streamer network was very time intensive initially, but with repeat streams, more frequency & brand equity driving uptake, Vitabiotics got into a virtuous cycle of sales & engagement on Douyin.


Up2China was at the forefront of Douyin’s overseas market entry, later opening one of the first authorized multi-brand stores for less established brands to avoid such barriers to entry while allowing access to an extensive live streamer network for sales.

Wellman & Wellwoman Tmall Store Development

As the relationship grew, Vitabiotics also launched with Up2China, their Wellman & Wellwoman stores on Tmall—these sub-category stores allowed for more profound keyword optimization & more effective, targeted traffic.


In Conclusion

Vitabiotics is widely seen as a successful British case study in China. They took an innovative, brave approach to expanding by category in the market & through building brand equity, were able to get into a virtuous cycle of creating demand for sales to further invest for more demand. Up2China has been a pivotal part of this journey, incubating the team from 1 to now 30 people in Vitabiotics’ own office.

Up2China is open to offering such hybrid partnership solutions to serious brands with high growth potential. Leveraging our extensive resources to build a meaningful relationship & project that goes beyond ‘making a fast buck.’ 

Quick Links

Contact Us

location Icon

Block D, Chengdu, Jiaozi Financial Technology Center, Sichuan


Marketing: +86 15608051987
Support: +86 15108206500

message icon


Error: Contact form not found.