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Exclusive interview

Colour cosmetics part 1: Is the Korean tide changing?

By Natasha Spencer , 14-Mar-2017
Last updated on 14-Mar-2017 at 13:09 GMT2017-03-14T13:09:23Z

Colour cosmetics in Korea

Korean beauty trends have led to a new wave of trend adoptees and so we caught up with Jane Jang, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel to understand more about how the dominant sector is spreading across APAC.

There are several core drivers of the K-beauty boom around the world: “These are typically fast-paced product innovations — from BB creams to cushion pacts —  value for money offerings and digital excellence in both commercial and communication areas,” said Jane Jang, Senior Beauty Analyst, Mintel.

This Korean wave has led to its expansion throughout Asia, as on the whole “Asian consumers see Korean celebrities as beauty icons”.

Widening its appeal

Leveraging its global appeal, K-beauty brands have been “capitalising on the Korean wave and competing to have Korean celebrities in their extensive marketing programmes including TV commercials, social media, or packaging,” added Jang.

This approach has been adopted by many Korean brands as they aim to appeal to local and wider Asia millennials.

While Korean actresses appeal to a wider range of consumer age groups, K-pop stars are highly influential among today’s young millennials.

Case studies

Increasingly, businesses in Asia are utilising successful, popular and influential media personalities to reach out to their target consumers.

Below are examples of Asia brands that have adopted brand ambassadors to push their identities within the global marketplace.

  1. Innisfree engaged Yoona (Im Yoon-ah), a member of the highly popular girl group Girls Generation, as their brand ambassador in a bid to represent the brand’s ethos of pure and natural beauty.
  2. Etude House signed up Krystal Jung, a member of girl group f(X), as he3r brand identity is synonymous with beauty and fashion, and she is deemed an icon among consumers aged between mid-teens to early 20s, the company’s core target audience group.
  3. As YG Entertainment launched its Moonshot beauty product, the entertainment company utilised artists including GDragon, Sandara Park and Black Pink for promotional purposes.

Mutual benefit

There appears to have been a symbiotic relationship between pop culture and beauty in Korea as “aside from K-pop girl groups, K-pop boy groups are also strong influencers for beauty brands”, Jang explained.

Along with examples including Nature Republic with EXO and The Saem with SHINee, brands appreciate the “strong synergy between beauty brands and Korean celebrities” and has “triggered some established entertainment companies to launch their own beauty brands”.

The second part of this interview with Jane Jang from Mintel on colour cosmetics in Korea will be published on 15th March 2017.

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