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Exclusive interview

How China plans to remain the lip care hub part 2

By Natasha Spencer , 13-Mar-2017

Lip care in China

Due to the popularity of the lip cosmetics in China, we asked Laurie Du, Senior Beauty Analyst, Asia Pacific at Mintel, how the industry intends to retain its position at the top.

Thinking ahead

Premium niche local brands can accumulate brand ambassadors via strategic marketing tactics and multichannel optimisation that include televised dramas, YouTuber endorsements and social media advocates.

“It also has a high penetration rate in China, with up to three in four women in the country saying they use lip colour as part of their everyday makeup routine,” said Laurie Du, Senior Beauty Analyst, Asia Pacific at Mintel.

Popular tools

“Using lip colour almost requires no makeup skill, yet still makes a huge difference with its finishing touch.”

The popularity of the lip colour subcategory is largely based on items including lip sticks and lip satins that do not require any specific tools.

Whilst China is known for its colour cosmetics achievements, Thailand is hot on its tails and is “currently a market to watch, mainly due to the affordability of the country's products”.

Pushing promotions

From Mintel’s observations in China, despite small brands in APAC promoting lip care products with limited marketing and advertising, they are seeing quick and effective results.

In addition, “brands can also look to do more digital marketing on social media platforms to target digital and social media savvy young consumers”, Du added.

“With the rapid change in media consumption behaviours, Chinese consumers have entered a multi-screen era.”

As a result, “leading brands are investing in a 360 degree integrated marketing communications approach that includes both traditional and new media”, said Du.

New media

In an age where increasingly brands opt for celebrity endorsements or large social media campaigns to propel their sophisticated marketing campaigns, both SMEs and multinationals can leverage channels to boost awareness.

Although SMEs will have smaller budgets, Du highlighted that “there are definitely opportunities for them to grow especially in today’s diversified and highly segmented consumer market”.

The key, Du went on to say, is to “embrace the use of new media in their promotional activities”.

Seeking endorsements

Celebrity endorsement is proving a viable option for brands looking to push product promotion “as pop culture and celebrity influences shake things up globally, with endorsements and clever product placements showing great potential for brands looking to push their products”, Du emphasised.

TV shows, for example, can significantly affect the power of corporate brand identities and appeal to younger demographics. Online sales of IOPE’s lip colour product on Taobao is one such example of this after its popularity jumped after strategic placement in the Korean soap, ‘My Love from Another Star’.

As celebrities enable lip care providers to reach more followers, Du mentioned that “for brands on a budget, it could be good for them to collaborate with key opinion leaders or influencers with huge followings on social media platforms”.

Power of price

Although rising disposable incomes typically encourage consumers to select cosmetics products that are high in quality, the price of these items may still be a key factor when making purchasing decisions, and depends on “the category of the products they are purchasing”.

Du emphasised that the “overall trend for this is called ‘trading up smartly’”- where consumers “compare different channels or consider different factors to help them make the best purchase decision”.

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