*Asia in Focus Special*

A roundup of Florence Bernardin's expert advice on cracking Asia's markets..

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

A roundup of Florence Bernardin's expert advice on cracking Asia's markets..

Related tags Skin Marketing Cosmetics

Reporting from the cosmetic trenches in Asia, monthly contributor Florence Bernardin has been guiding cosmetic players on where they should be investing and why. Here, CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com rounds up some of her best advice..

1. Fragrance is worth investing in - but not in the conventional way!

Although the fragrance category can hold it's own in the West, it's still small business in Asia which our expert says it due to several cultural reasons​ and warns that whilst there is opportunity to invest, it's not going to be in the conventional way...

Florence says fragrance in China, Japan and Korea is only viewed as appealing when used in hair care or body lotions, rather than traditional perfumes like in Europe or the US.

She says it's actually the fragrances present in shampoos, conditioning treatments and hair mists that is establishing brand loyalty with consumers.

"In China, fragrance has not traditionally been worn and awareness is still low and in Japan and Korea consumers fear others impression as there's this image of seduction," ​the expert informed readers.

2. Take time on anti-ageing marketing

The marketing of products claiming to treat the ageing process in the West is either focused on eliminating the signs of it in older generations or by keeping wrinkles and lines at bay in younger consumers.

In the East however, particularly Japan, getting older is celebrated, and lines and wrinkles are considered as adding character, a gain of wisdom, of stable life and mental beauty.

This is where Florence warns global brands to take heed​ in approaching consumers in our April issue.

"Both young and older Asian generations are focused on preserving the skin in the best way possible through life, rather than trying to work against the clock. Thus, brands will need to keep this in mind when marketing products if they want to avoid losing out to domestic ones who are well versed on the mentality of consumers on the region," ​she advised.

3. Whitening is old news but innovation on the region isn't!

Whitening products represented around 30% of total skin care business in 2014. While there are no new molecules to boast of, there is however, new stories on melanogenesis, according to our AP expert. 

"This rather new category is not yet clearly understood by consumers. Obtaining all the certifications can be very long and difficult therefore cosmetics brands have extended the whitening category to the so called 'brightening' which enhance skin radiance and evenness."

Here, Florence gives a rundown​ of the new product launches in this area in 2014.

4. Don't underestimate the power of TV in Korean buying

TV has a power of its own when it comes to influencing makeup trends and purchasing behaviour in Korea and Florence reports that several TV series or dramas, mainly in Korea have created an incredible demand​ for specific products shown during a broadcast, mainly in the area of make-up.

Bernardin stresses that the influence of TV particularly in Korea, is a force to be reckoned with and certain international brands have really benefited from it, despite not necessarily being on the market.

Take for example ‘My Love From Another Star’, she says, a program centered on a love story between an alien from another planet and a famous TV actress.

"It created such high demand for YSL Lipstick Rouge Pur Couture color 52 Rosy Coral that is there was a shortage in countless grey market listings, and is now going for double the retail price on sites such as eBay."

5. BB, CC,DD what’s next

From whitening to BB/CC creams and TCM ingredients, the Asian markets are now more than ever providing new sources of inspiration and development to western markets.

Florence notes that on the back of the success of the BB cream, the region as a whole has seen the cream's purpose evolve​, in that its function has now moved on to become more of an all in one /multifunctional product.

She highlights for example; P&G's recent launch of a make-up remover which also acts as a foamer and lotion that caters to the demand of shorter beauty routines.

"Traditional Asian routines are now being replaced by ‘all in one’ products as opposed to 5-10 products, as the demand comes from consumers that seek more of a quick fix with the same benefits and qualities of the usual products they use for the skin​."

Florence Bernardin

Florence is bilingual and proficient at kawaiphilosophy, trained in the Japanese school of thought for 15 years at Kao Corporation.

The CEO of 'Information et Inspiration', a Franco-Asian team of experts is entirely dedicated to monitoring the cosmetics markets in Asia.

 Fascinated by Japan, her sense of wonder - still intact, enables her to source and access trends and products in a unique way.

 

 

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