Back in April, when CVS announced that it would be launching an assortment of Korean beauty brands in 2,000 of its stores and online, a bunch of stories came out proclaiming that yes, finally! K-beauty is not just a fad and it is definitely here to stay.
I often get asked if I think K-Beauty is a fad. My answer is yes. However, I do think that K-Beauty will live on.
Let me explain.
us consumers will move on
The mass hysteria levels of K-Beauty in the press and media will most definitely die down. American consumers are fickle and have short attention spans. They will move on to the big next thing, whatever that may be. (Maybe Scandinavian skincare? Taiwanese skincare? Anyone have guesses?)
Brands like Dr. Jart and Laneige may be about as mainstream as Korean beauty brands get as standalone brands. (Also, side note: it's interesting that these two brands are not primarily positioning themselves as K-Beauty; that's more of a secondary message.)Read More
CVS announced they were going to carry K-Beauty in roughly 2,500 stores and many people cheered the news. Consumers cheered because now Korean beauty was going to be more easily accessible at affordable prices. Brands cheered because this meant increased and ongoing retailer acceptance of K-Beauty in the US mass market.
What could go wrong?
If you dig a bit deeper beyond the feel good press stories about the products that will now be available at CVS, you'll see that it could actually be bad for some brands.Read More
Now that Memebox's new site launched May 1 and their affiliate content site is up and running, they have now focused their attention to pushing two of their five private label brands.
WWD announced that Memebox launched Nooni and I Dew Care (rebrand of Bonvivant) into Ulta both online (started June 26) and offline (starting July 10).
How have they been selling? It's hard to say since the online launch just went live but Memebox CEO Dino Ha did point out on his Instagram that the Disco Kitty product sold out in five days.Read More
As a follow up to my previous post titled How Geopolitics Impacts Your K-Beauty Sheet Mask, I've teamed up with Sandalwood Advisors, a data platform that focuses on Chinese consumer transactions, to analyze the impact that the row over THAAD had on Korean cosmetic purchases in China.
summarizing what happened
At the time of my previous article dated March 30, South Korea was still in political limbo. Former President Park Geun Hye had just been impeached and the country was without a clear political leader. Tensions between Korea and China were at an all time high over THAAD, the missile defense system that Korea put into place with the help of the US. China was punishing Korea over this through economic bullying and all eyes were on the new presidential election to be held May 9, 2017 to see who would lead the country out of the mess it was in.Read More
Glow Recipe just launched their own line of private label products - a Blueberry Bounce Foaming Cleanser and Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. Of the two, the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by far received the most earned media and "sold out" on the glowrecipe.com site as well as on Sephora.com. It is now stocked in all Sephora retail stores and some stores are reportedly out of stock.
Here's an analysis of what went so right with this product to merit all the buzz and press it received.Read More
The latest player to watch in the K-Beauty scene, which just soft launched their new site, is W2Beauty. W2Beauty is not new; it was founded by Alice Bang in 2012 as a way to make Korean beauty products more accessible to the world. The original concept was to replicate some of the main factors that make shopping for K-Beauty in Korea so great - affordable prices, great service, and quality products.
Since then, W2Beauty has since been acquired in 2016 by serial entrepreneur James Sun, who founded a digital loyalty platform called Pirq which he sold to iPayment. He also was a contestant and finalist on The Apprentice in 2007. James also was behind the site dramabeans.com, a blog and online community that focuses on re-capping Korean dramas. His site has a large audience - monthly pageviews is estimated at around 1.5MM unique pageviews - the audience is also predominantly female.Read More
Much has already been written about Amazon and their seemingly unstoppable domination of commerce. Many other retailers and brands in fashion have faltered by being late to the e-Commerce game while Amazon continues to win share in categories that used to seem beyond the reach of Amazon.
Korean beauty is no different and Amazon is a retailer to watch and, in my opinion, embrace.Read More
Memebox launched their new site after announcing their pivot away from e-Commerce and towards being a kind of educational hub for K-Beauty.
I took a look at the new Memebox, which they soft-launched May 1, and here are some thoughts.
New Memebox aka Amazon's Marketing Arm
Let's call a spade a spade. This new Memebox is a marketing arm for Amazon K-Beauty products. I know they like to describe their new business in more fanciful terms - "Tripadvisor for beauty", "...more useful to search a product on Memebox than it is to search on Google.” - but at the end of the day since all their commerce links point to Amazon, it's focusing on product education to only line the already-gilded pockets of Amazon execs.Read More