Deep Dive 19 minutes Premium

Korean Innovation in Beauty

Executive Summary

Korean beauty brands have seen strong growth in sales volume, with exports reaching US$2.45 billion in 2015. Korean brands have had a growing influence on the global beauty market in recent years, leading to a K-Beauty trend.

In this report, we examine the factors that underpin the successful ascent of Korean beauty, with a focus on the product, process and technology innovations they have brought to the market. Here are our key takeaways.

  • Korean beauty brands have adopted a “fast fashion” product development cycle and gained recognition for innovative formulas, ingredients, manufacturing processes and packaging. However, the sophisticated and demanding customers in the local Korean market have also been one of the major drivers.
  • Korean beauty brands have embraced the digital transformation age and have taken advantage of the cultural influence of the Korean wave to come up with innovative marketing strategies that have driven growth.
  • Korean beauty brands were also fast to adopt in-store technologies, some of which are on par with other technology developed by international beauty brands, while others are ahead of the international market.
  • A number of Korean beauty startups have emerged that have brought Korean beauty products overseas with e-commerce, or created innovative beauty products with the latest technologies.

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