Brand story: Recent developments from the biggest names in beauty across APAC

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Most-read brand-related stories of the region. [Shiseido]
Most-read brand-related stories of the region. [Shiseido]

Related tags Shiseido P&g Kao Unilever dermalogica

We round-up of our most-read brand-related stories of the region, featuring Shiseido, Procter & Gamble, Kao, POND’S and Dermalogica.

1 – Skin beauty revival: Shiseido outlines plans for key brands as it seeks to recover from COVID-19 slump

Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Company has highlighted its plans for its key brands​ like SHISEIDO and ELIXIR as focuses on building a powerful portfolio centred on skin beauty.

Shiseido posted its financial results for 2020 on February 9, where it also revealed its strategy to usher the brand towards a full recovery.

Among the many changes in the global beauty market post-COVID-19, Shiseido expects to see an increased awareness of skin health, creating multiple opportunities for the company.

“The awareness of healthy skin is going to be an important aspect of the skin care... They say skin is the barometer for your body’s physical health and condition so we feel that awareness of healthy skin will increase,”​ said CEO Masahiko Uotani during the company’s earnings conference.

2 – Bringing offline and online: How P&G is trying to close the physical and e-commerce shopping divide

Personal care giant Proctor & Gamble (P&G) has shed light on how it is striving to bridge the divide between offline and online retail​ to help smoothen ts consumers’ shopping journey.

While e-commerce allows the brand to be very targeted with its marketing and makes the process more convenience for consumers, it inevitably loses some nuances that consumers experience with offline shopping.

“There are multiple unconscious physical interactions that we have with product at shelf. For example, many people in the beauty category open the products and smell them, and this is something that you can't do in an e-business,” ​said Alexandra Vogler, senior director for marketing and e-business, Asia, Middle East and Africa for Proctor & Gamble.

Speaking at the inaugural Shopee Brands Summit, Vogler said the company has had to find a way to virtually supplement these physical interactions that consumers have offline.

3 – Neck neglect? Dermalogica targets ‘tech neck’ and premature ageing signs with latest serum launch

Cosmeceutical brand Dermalogica has launched Neck Fit Contour Serum to tackle premature ageing in the neck area​, which has been exacerbated with the rise of the tech neck phenomenon.

The product was recently launched across South East Asia and Hong Kong in the beginning of February to tackle the often-neglected neck area

According to Dermalogica, the neck is very prone to premature ageing. This is because the skin in the area is thin, delicate and more vulnerable to sun damage as well as photosensitisation from fragrances.

“We take a lot of time to protect and treat our faces, but then we sometimes forget the few inches below the face that's often overlooked. Many skin care routines are face-focused and using face creams on the neck’s delicate skin won’t give the skin on your neck what it needs to be in its healthiest form,”​ said Michelle Lam, senior general manager of Dermalogica, Esthetics International Group.

4 – Critical state: Kao must make ‘bold upfront investments’ in digital to secure growth of cosmetics division – CEO

Japanese personal care major Kao Corporation is prioritising investments in digital technology​ as part of its plans to radically reform its cosmetics unit which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kao’s cosmetics business, which comprises of brands such as Kanebo, Freeplus, Curél and Molton Brown suffered due to a significant decline in inbound demand and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the firm’s FY2020 results published on February 3, its cosmetics business saw sales decrease 22.1% on a like-for-like basis compared to the previous year. Operating profit decrease over 90% from JPY 41.4bn to JPY2.6 from the previous fiscal year.

The impact on the cosmetics business was greater because of the ratio of make-up, which is approximately 10% higher than the market.

5 – POND’S aiming to double e-commerce business over the next five years as it works to scale up business in SEA

Unilever-owned POND’S says its goal is to double its e-commerce business​ over the next five years as it aims to ramp up growth in the South East Asian region.

Despite the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand enjoyed a healthy year, according to Rohit Bhasin, global VP, Unilever POND’S.

“Last year was good for POND’S. The business was tough because we had a lot of lockdowns across our markets. The overall beauty market shrank by double-digits, but we made sure we gained share comparatively even in a declining market,” ​said Bhasin.

Like most brands, POND’S saw that consumer spend shifted to e-commerce in the past year.

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