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K-beauty expanding into new global markets

Zenpia's Secret Key

Domestic K-beauty businesses are spreading into various regions, not only big markets such as China and the U.S. but also rising markets in Southeast Asia and Europe.

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Zenpia’s Secret Key, a domestic cosmetic brand, is attracting customers from these regions as well as aiming to boost its presence in Russia and former Soviet-bloc countries. Starting with China, Secret Key has been setting up overseas affiliates since 2012, and has made a quite successful foray.

One of the keys to success was its exporting strategy based on an extensive analysis of target customers. Secret Key is promoting its “Snail Repairing” and “Racoony Hydrogel Patch” products for customers in the former Soviet-bloc countries as customers there are known to have a greater preference for cosmetic products that combat dehydration and repair skin elasticity because of the region’s low temperatures and dry environment.

For customers in Southeast Asia who are known to seek clear and shiny skin, it promoted its “Snow White” line and “Starting Treatment” products. In Europe it focused on cleansing products such as “Lemon Sparkling Cleansing” line and “Dr. Agera Hyalluron acid ampoule.”

Global marketing is also another key to Secret Key’s consistent rise. As Indonesia is active in influencer marketing, the company has been actively focusing on such a strategy, by signing an exclusive contract with partners that own an online influencer agency in Indonesia.

“Currently, Korean culture in general has a very good image all over the world with Korean dramas and K-pop. However there are not many Korean cosmetic brands that have officially launched in other countries. When considering a new market, growth potential is very important, and Russia was the bridgehead for both Europe and Asia, where people also showed a great interest in K-beauty,” the official at Secret Key said.

K-beauty companies have been pioneering new markets since the second half of last year in order to overcome the economic downturn in Korea and uncertainty in the future Chinese market.

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The leading cosmetics companies said the export scale of the domestic beauty business has increased by 34.9 percent per year, from US$18 million in 2014 to US$63 million in 2018.

(Source: Korea Times)