Should brands be chameleons?

Have you ever seen an Asian woman walking around the street with an umbrella in full sunlight? Or a western girl burning under the strong summer sun until her skin get as red as a tomato? It seems quite weird when you think a little bit about it … However, it is directly linked to our beauty perceptions and our culture. In Asia the ideal of beauty is to have a white skin, with large almond eyes, cherry lips, in order to be innocent-looking, while in western cultures we all want to get tanned and stay young forever4! To satisfy everybody, cosmetic brands need to adapt their strategy to be in line with the different cultures and current trends. That is why cosmetic brands are proposing self-tanner and anti-wrinkle creams in Occident and whitening and anti-spot products in Asia.

Let’s take the example of the dermatologic brand La Roche Posay. In 2001, it entered in China following its other French competitor, Vichy3. Nowadays, the brand has a tremendous success in more than 120 Chinese cities and is the second brand of dermatologic cosmetics on this market after Vichy. La Roche Posay understood exactly what were the concerns of Chinese women and has created tailor made cosmetics to match their needs. Have you already heard of the pollution clouds that hinder you to see the blue sky? Well, in China big cities face this issue and women need to protect their skin. To do so, La Roche Posay has elaborated an antipollution routine2. As pollution alters the skin, the routine proposed aim to build a barrier against particles. La Roche Posay has studied the Chinese market during 15 years to fulfill this need. It has signed 3 scientific reviews that explain the damages caused by pollution on the skin. La Roche Posay also offers daily moisturizing creams with sun protection to make sure Asian girls stay as white as a sheet!

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L’Oreal, the owner of La Roche Posay and Vichy, has created a research center aiming to match precisely the customer’s expectations and to grow on this market. As we know, Chinese women are looking for products that treat skin problems such as pollution or acne whether than dryness or aging effects1. No wrinkles for them, lucky them!  La Roche Posay and Vichy are facing a strong competition with local brands such as Herborist that offers high standard cosmetics using Chinese traditional medicine. As you may know, Chinese are strongly attached to their ancestral products… May the best one win!

Your devoted mascara addict, Coralie.

[1] Olivier. (2015). The 5 Trends of the Chinese Cosmetics Market, Marketing China. ONLINE. Available at : http://cosmeticschinaagency.com/the-5-trends-of-the-chinese-cosmetic-market/ Last Accessed: 17 Nov’16.

[2] La Roche-Possay website. Anti-pollution routine: cleansing, repairing and protecting. ONLINE. Available at: http://www.laroche-posay.com/article/Anti-pollution-routine-cleansing-repairing-and-protecting/a23501.aspx Last Accessed: 17 Nov’16.

[3] Mathieu David. (2006). De grandes marques de produits de beauté français en Chine, Daxue conseil. ONLINE. Available at: http://daxueconseil.fr/de-grandes-marques-de-produits-de-beaute-francais-en-chine/ Last Accessed: 17 Nov’16

[4]  Chani Blue. (2015). China vs. America, Exploring What Is the ‘Ideal’ Beauty, Vision Times. ONLINE. Available at: http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/09/10/china-vs-america-exploring-what-is-the-ideal-beauty.html Last Accessed: 17 Nov’16.

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