In the quest for beauty perfection, Korean consumers have turned to inner personal care in a bid to boost outer aesthetic benefits. While the connection to inner and outer beauty is well established in many parts of Asia, what’s emergent in Korea is a focus on digestion to obtain more effective weight loss.
Limited edition flash sales have become de rigueur in the fashion category. Now beauty brands are following a similar strategy to excite consumers and create a sense of buying urgency as well as tap into fast moving beauty trends to drum up sales.
Southeast Asia (SEA) is not the first region that comes to mind when considering beauty trends. While Japan and Korea arguably lead from an innovation perspective with Taiwan following a close third, its more tropically-located neighbours are generally considered industry laggards or consumers rather than inventors. This perception is slowly changing with the development of brands looking to solve niche gaps that address climate, price, religious concerns as well as fundamentals such as colour cosmetics that suits a diverse range of skin tones.
The term ‘shao nu xin’ or ‘the heart of a teen girl’ is essentially used in reference to items that appeal to the innate feminine tendencies of an adolescent female. The phrase is often used in China when people try to explain why a cute pink beauty brand might sell to a woman who may project an image of being edgy, strong, independent and empowered. This juxtaposition comes from a deep-seated cultural phenomenon that stems from the prejudice that all women have a dormant girly side remnant from their younger days.
Watch Nicole Fall, Head of Trends at Five by Fifty present on the topic: Chinese beauty: myth or reality. We’ll discuss – has the dawn of C-beauty arrived? China is better known as a consumer of beauty and personal care goods but the tide could be turning as Chinese manufacturers demand their place at the global branding table. Will C-beauty join the likes of K-beauty and become a worldwide phenomenon?
Asian Consumer Intelligence analyses recent consumer, consumption and product launch behaviour to ascertain market trends, as well as define the characteristics that denote ingredient, marketing and packaging trends from the world’s most populous country.
We examine ‘suje’ – handmade Korean products with a
focus on room scents, the hype to ‘prosthetic’ cosmetics and what’s really driving this extreme behaviour, and we also look at how savoury ingredients are evolving in SEA in beverages.
Independent Korean fragrance brands are forging a path as consumers seek products, formats and brands that feature handmade or ‘su-je’ elements with unique scents.
Korea’s ‘pali pali’ culture or hurried and fast paced lifestyles often means that goods and services need to be efficient and ideal for people who often appear permanently on the go. Whether its grabbing beauty products from the numerous and often repetitive stores found in subway stations to apply on the way to work or purchasing an Americano coffee from one of the hundreds of stores often packed together in shopping and business districts, many aspects of city life feel relentless.
Differentiating the new alphabet of Asian beauty – J, K and C-beauty – depends on a consumer’s demographics, expenditure and purpose. Asian Consumer Intelligence breaks down Japanese, Korean and Chinese beauty in our regular newsletter.