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How K beauty is shaping the Asian colour cosmetics category

By Natasha Spencer , 07-Mar-2017
Last updated on 21-Mar-2017 at 09:59 GMT2017-03-21T09:59:38Z

How K beauty is shaping the Asian colour cosmetics category

In our first Cosmetics Design Asia special newsletter of the year, we are focusing on evolving trends and industry developments that impact the growing colour cosmetics sector in APAC.

And it's all about the ever-popular Korean beauty sphere and how K beauty and K pop trends are making waves in the global colour cosmetics market, along with the challenges they face.  

As Euromonitor International anticipates that APAC will replace the US as the leading colour cosmetics country by 2020, we take a look at the impact Korean colour cosmetics trends have on APAC and around the world.

Moving beyond Korea

The Korean colour cosmetics industry, or K power, is expected to contribute towards this growth, as increasingly APAC and wider global brands are adopting elements associated with Korean beauty trends  including fun or quirky packaging and appealing characters.

In this article, Nicole Fall, Founder of Asian Consumer Intelligence, notes that Korean brands individualise their identities from other countries’ brands as they are aware of the importance of diversifying from competitors’ launches to support new and innovative trends.

Staying ahead

For companies outside of Korea seeking to generate the same level of appeal and market success, the key is to develop fast-paced product innovations that are timely and reach consumers before trends have reached maturity, Mintel states.

With the combination of producing trendsetting and creative product ranges that are communicated across multiple channels and commercially viable, Korean brands have expanded these items to generate overseas popularity.

South Korean major, Amorepacific, is one such example of the power of efficient and effective innovations as its cushion compact celebrated 100 million unit sales of its product internationally last year.

The company, which now uses fourth generation cushion technology and has 26 patents relating to cushion technology compiles demands from consumers for comprehensive application, high quality and convenience to help Korea advance its technology to propel its beauty developments.

Political turmoil

Despite two of APAC’s leading colour cosmetics sectors — Korea and China — continuing to enjoy growing popularity, Korea’s decision to install an anti-ballistic missile defence system has soured the heavyweights’ relationship.

Restrictive actions have been made by both parties , with China imposing a ban preventing high-profile Korean names to feature in its broadcasts. The move came as a response to Korea imposing duty-free limits that would prevent third-party sales of cosmetics in China.

The next wave

As Korean beauty product releases are synonymous with fun, creativity and trend worthy innovations, increasingly brands are evolving their marketing strategies towards pop culture and celebrity endorsements.

By connecting brick-and-mortar stores with e-commerce experiences and interactivity on social media, companies can maximise their purchases points to increase brand awareness, word of mouth referrals and sales.

As well as a significant shift towards connecting the online and offline sectors, going forward, brands hoping to get a slice of the K-boom will need to devise product concepts that appeal to the middle class demographic, move into the skin care and essence sectors and prioritise high-quality creations .

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