SEOUL, Jan.18 (Korea Bizwire) – Cosmetics brands that have been mainstays in the Korean market for 10 to 20 years are facing their biggest test – the aging of their target customers.
A recent marketing event held by a popular cosmetics brand at a department store only attracted customers in their 60s and 70s, and another brand called a VIP customer who hadn’t been seen for a while only to hear that she passed away.
Foreign brands such as Lancome and Estee Lauder and domestic brands such as Sulwhasoo have targeted middle-aged women over 40, as this demographic is more likely to afford the high prices of premium products.
Since its entry to the Korean market in the early 1990s, Lancome has now been a fixture for more than 20 years, and Sulwhasoo, which was launched in 1997, is also close to its 20th anniversary.
As a result, target customers have also aged through the years.
High-end brands are also having more difficulties because young consumers usually buy their cosmetics through other sales channels instead of shopping at department stores, where the brands usually have their shops.
To attract customers in their 20s and 30s, brands are concentrating on marketing strategies that promote a younger image.
In an effort to attract younger customers, Lancome appointed actress Han Ji-min, who is popular with the younger generation, as its brand model. The company is also aggressively promoting its color products through product placement in TV dramas to appeal to a younger audience.
Premium brand SK-Ⅱ also holds a pool of VIP consumers over the age of 40, but the company lowered its target age to between 25 and 34 – women who just started working or just got married.
Amore Pacific’s Sulwhasoo, which gained popularity among moms through door-to-door sales, is also taking measures to lower the age of its target customers. The company is active in promoting its key items to potential consumers in their 20s and 30s. Considering the demographic has high accessibility to smartphones, Sulwhasoo opened a mobile site. A flagship store was also opened to communicate with young customers.
Industry watchers comment that young women shopping for cosmetics are seldom seen at department stores. “The aging of a key customer demographic can shrink a brand’s standing in the long run. Therefore, high-end cosmetics brands are pushing to secure a younger demographic as their target customer.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)