Estée Lauder targets key Korean demographic for APAC success


- Last updated on GMT

Korea is showing some of the largest growth in color cosmetics and skin care in Asia-Pacific, attracting the attention of many of the big boys; and Estée Lauder has taken note.

The innovation shown in the Korean color cosmetics and skin care market is setting the tone for other countries in Asia-Pacific with its quick expansion and improved growth, according to market analyst Mintel, who states it is only just behind Japan.

And according to the head of Estee Lauder’s local unit, Korean women are a target demographic that can bring success to cosmetics companies.

The beauty benchmark

“BB cream is an example. Started out in Korea, the products became a hot sale in the US and Germany, and European and American global companies started to sell them​,” Herve Bouvier  was quoted as saying in The Korea Herald.

Bouvier says that what is hot in Korea becomes hot outside of Korea, thus making the region Estée Lauder’s benchmark.

“If a product sells well in Korea, we know it will work. Japanese and Chinese women now come here to find out what Korean women use. Many Korean things are becoming very popular in the world right now, and cosmetics is one of them.”

Estée Lauder’s investment into Asia-Pacific has been no secret, with CEO Fabrizio Freda announcing the company’s focus on growth in the region​, and the launch of more e-commerce sites this year​ to deal with demand.

Growing influence

The US-based firm now has 340marketing and e-commerce sites, sells in 140 countries and has about 40 affiliates throughout the world.

Its Korea business ranks fifth among its affiliates, following market leaders the US and UK, China and Japan; although Korea is very close to the latter duo.

 “Today, Korea for Estee Lauder is bigger than Germany, France, Spain. Even if Korea is in a significant (economic) slowdown, we will not lose this,”​ continued Bouvier.

The growing influence in Korea could alsop see some of Estée Lauder’s brands being newly launched in the region to grab a slice of the action; such as the newly launched Osiao brand which was focused specifically on China skin care needs​.

“We are not only speaking about Korea as a place to sell, but more a place to be inspired by. We are putting in more resources to capture Korean culture and spirit in order to leverage globally and make our brand stronger. We plan to do more surveys and analysis in Korea. It will probably change the way the world is working tomorrow,”​ added Bouvier.

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