​Are Korean Brands Becoming the Leaders in Cosmetics Innovation?

​Are Korean Brands Becoming the Leaders in Cosmetics Innovation?

The cosmetics industry markets in North America and Europe are now very large and quite mature. In other parts of the world however, the high-end cosmetic market is in an earlier stage of development and showing different tendencies. Let’s take a look at a unique, dynamic, and emerging market, the Asian cosmetics industry, which is now experiencing an increasing consumer awareness for health and wellbeing, resulting in an annual growth of 15% in the natural cosmetics market across the continent.

Among all Asian countries, South Korea’s cosmetic industry has grown so rapidly in recent years that South Korean women, compared to their American counterparts, are now spending twice as much of their income on beauty products and make-up.

Asian – and especially South Korean – cosmetic manufacturers as well as buyers tend to place a lot of emphasis on packaging, to the point that you could call it obsessive! Often more thought is put into the design than the product itself. Many clients base their purchase decision on the shape of the packaging and if the eyeshadow doesn’t come in a cute pot shaped like an animal or a piece of fruit, they simply won’t buy it.

Have a look at these Tony Moly products from South Korea: so cute that they could even be used as decoration in your bedroom. This kind of packaging couldn’t be more different from the one we are used to in the Western world. It would be interesting to see how changes in packaging might change the market in the West. Nonetheless a question arises: does this additional and sometimes unnecessary packaging come with an extra cost for the buyer? Most likely we would say.

Here is the new Etude House Berry Delicious Collection, launched in South Korea in spring 2016. Etude House has done a variety of “fruit” themed makeup collections over the years, the new makeup collection includes a selection of blushes, eyeshadow palettes, liquid lipsticks, and even a new berry fragrance. So nice you could eat them!

What about you? Would you be more inclined to buy a product with pretty packaging, or is the inside that counts?

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Written by

Alessandra Ruggeri