As the world struggles through different phases of lockdown, China has emerged as one of the most resilient markets. China’s economy advanced 2.3 percent last year, making it the only major economy to report growth, although the growth was still its weakest in 44 years. China’s economy is widely predicted to expand by more than 8 percent in 2021.
While many global companies are looking to China, the market is quickly changing and complex to navigate. Applying the same international marketing approach and trend analysis as elsewhere would not be effective. Urban consumers in China are very savvy and expect to see products and marketing specifically targeted to them.
BEAUTYSTREAMS’ special China Color Cosmetics Trends Report identifies eight consumer mindset shifts significant in China today and in the years to come. Taking into consideration those consumer mindsets, we developed original marketing storytelling, make-up looks, and packaging curated for the Chinese market. Here, key highlights from the report.
Some trends that were already emerging pre-COVID-19 have been further accelerated by the pandemic. National Pride, a trend that has been simmering in recent years, is now in full swing. Whereas the older generations in China often favored foreign labels, younger consumers are supporting the plethora of exciting new local beauty brands that have launched on the market in the past several years.
Another important mindset shift is the rise of Girl Power thanks to a new generation of Chinese feminists. Standing Out is another key shift. Culturally, most Chinese people do not like to appear different from the norm, but younger consumers are now daring to distinguish and express themselves. As consumers, they want to be among the first to discover niche, less common brands and products.
Sk’inclusivity is another emerging trend, still new in China, which we forecast will quickly scale up. Most color cosmetics brands in China offer only two to five foundation shades, with few choices for darker skin tones. Now a growing number of KOL’s and celebrities are embracing their natural tan complexions, which will prompt some brands to extend their shades by several nuances.
As China is the world’s largest gaming market, Virtual Immersion is a trend that will grow. Expect that alternative digital dimensions will continue to inspire brands and consumers via hyperreal beauty looks, marketing storytelling, and retail innovations.
Throughout the pandemic, Self-Care and the emotional and physical comfort it provides becomes just as important as appearance. The COVID-19 lockdowns around the world have made consumers more accustomed to well-being rituals at home. While in China, the so-called “996 workstyles”, i.e., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week schedules, prompt increasing numbers of career-driven Post-90s to embrace self-care rituals during the rare moments they have for themselves.
At the same time, fitness and the pursuit of perfection is also a growing movement in China. Gym memberships and non-invasive cosmetic interventions log a steady growth in the country, showing that Self Optimization is, and will continue to be, important among the active population in the upcoming years.
Lastly, with China’s US$400-billion investment in ecological programs since 2017 (twice as much as the European Union), the country has emerged as one of the global leaders in the field. This is reflected in a growing awareness among consumers who want a Holistic Life, including sustainability for themselves, but also for the environment. To learn more about BEAUTYSTREAMS’ China Color Cosmetics Trend Report, click here.