Chinese beauty brands not able to scale globally?

The rise of Chinese beauty brands in the last few years has been meteoric

But this has been within China and fueled by local consumers wanting to support local Chinese Beauty brands

What is stopping these brands from global domination?

Here I talk to Lisa Shiqi Yu about her recent thesis looking at exactly this. In this conversation we take apart where the real issues lie. I did an interview with Lisa a while back please do have a listen to that one as well

First reviewing the fundamentals of building a brand:

1. Supply Chain, product development is not a problem – the manufacturers who make these brands also make some of the world’s most sought-after international brands

2. Distribution Channels – whilst the western channels are different from the Chinese ones this is not a major hurdle with the right partners in place

3. Branding and marketing – this is where the problem lies

We dive into Branding and why most Chinese brands are not brand led. They are marketing and product led and this leads to issues of longevity as well as difficulty communicating what they really stand for.

In China these brands have seen huge success using all the activation methods available – livestreaming, KOLs, Private traffic communities etc but this does not = a true brand strategy

On top of this we believe that it is not yet clear what C-Beauty stands for. And without a clear proposition to communicate overseas consumers will not latch onto it.

We discuss Perfect Diary and what they are focusing on now as well as potential difficulties brands like Florasis have with their very visible Chinese aesthetic.

This is a topical conversation see this article from

on this topic – although here I feel they missed the branding message whilst focusing on issues surrounding R&D which is also a problem.

Definitely recommend you listening to this episode there are lots of insights into how Chinese beauty is shaping itself to go global! And within this there are many important lessons for international brands entering China. Most importantly not losing sight of your core brand messages that resonate with the Chinese audience.

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