Gender freedom: Kosé taps into genderless beauty as part of new growth strategy

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Kosé ramping up gender-neutral product development. [Visée]
Kosé ramping up gender-neutral product development. [Visée]

Related tags make-up Skin care Cosmetics Marketing Skin

Japanese beauty company Kosé Corporation is ramping up gender-neutral product development as part of its new growth strategy.

During the firm’s latest earnings conference, director and CFO Shinichi Mochizuki announced that as part of the firm’s growth strategy, it will focus on “three Gs” ​– global, gender, and generation.

“Based on the theme of global, gender and generation, we would like to promote global development centring on cultivation of customers and product development to reach out broader population regardless of gender or age,”​ said Mochizuki.

The company has recently begun promoting Visée, a make-up brand it established in 1994, as a gender-neutral brand.

Like other make-up brands, Visée has observed a rising demand for products that concentrate on the eye area, such as undereye concealers, eyebrow pencils and eye shadows, as masking up has become the new normal even as the pandemic wanes.

This has been true for both female and male consumers, the brand has observed. To tap into this, the company launched matte eyeshadows in October that has been popular among male consumers.

With the launch of the new matte eyeshadows, it has begun marketing activities to reposition Visée as a genderless brand.

The company also launched the genderless beauty range Flaruné under the Albion brand in August. While the company has discontinued Albion Exage line in favour of Flaruné, it believes the latter’s high appeal with younger consumers will spur sales to the same level as Exage.

In addition, the company has also started to promote three more brands, SEKKISEI, Ceramiaid, and Carte HD as gender-neutral brands.

It has engaged two-time Olympic champion figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu, and singer and actor Sho Hirano as brand ambassadors to raise awareness of the brands’ gender inclusivity.

According to Mochizuki, the SEKKISEI campaign that ran from July to August with Hanyu received positive feedback and helped to boost sales.

“We have received quite a positive response to our TV commercials and other promotions, especially from male customers and customers who want to give gifts to men. Thanks to this, sales of mainly SEKKISEI classics have increased, and we are now seeing signs of a turnaround.”

Similarly, the company observed a significant increase in the performance of the brands mentioned above in a joint sensitive skin campaign involving all three brands featuring Hirano.

Targeting new generations across the globe

Kosé inclusivity push also includes helping some of its most prominent brands such as Decorté and One By Kosé attract a new customer base.

For instance, in October, it launched a new One By Kosé lotion targeting people aged 40 to 60, which its existing products did not cover.

Lastly, the company will be pushing its global expansion, mainly in Europe, with Tarte.

It has been expanding Tarte’s reach in recent months, expanding the brand into Target and Kohl’s in addition to Sephora and Ulta Beauty in the US.

For Europe, Tarte has expanded in the UK with the re-entry of Sephora, a long-time retail partner of Tarte.

“The Sephora UK website opened in October and Tarte also started selling products there. We are also holding launch events, and the first offline store is scheduled to open in March of next year,”​ said Mochizuki.

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