Can Excellent Diary Take C-Magnificence World?

Key Takeaways:

  • Excellent Diary has conquered the Chinese language market with its savvy digital methods and progressive collaborations, breaking information on Tmall and beating Western rivals in gross sales.

  • With Southeast Asia’s magnificence market anticipated to be price $47.1 billion by 2025, Excellent Diary selected the area as its first vacation spot overseas. And in only one 12 months, the model was capable of high shade cosmetics classes in Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

  • Though Excellent Diary has made tentative strikes within the West, differing shopper behaviors, different C-beauty challengers, and “Made in China” stereotypes may sluggish its international development.

Excellent Diary is the poster youngster of Chinese language magnificence. Based in 2016, the Yatsen-owned model has shortly conquered China’s cosmetics market with its slick advertising techniques and deep understanding of what makes its younger shoppers, fairly actually, click on.

The velocity at which this five-year-old big has grown is staggering. In 2018, it turned the primary model to hit 100 million yuan ($15 million) in gross sales on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day. The next 12 months, it broke its personal report in a fraction of that point and have become the primary home model ever to high Tmall’s “Double 11” magnificence class, beating out the likes of L’Oréal and Maybelline.

And Excellent Diary hasn’t peaked but. Even in the course of the pandemic — when many magnificence names had been shutting their doorways — this DTC unicorn managed to shut a spherical of financing and formally listing on the New York Inventory Trade, bringing its market worth up from $4 billion in September 2020 to $7.82 billion two months later.

With its house market on lock, Excellent Diary is now seeking to tackle the remainder of the world. However that, after all, is simpler mentioned than finished. Under, Jing Each day examines Excellent Diary’s playbook, each at house and overseas, and whether or not these methods may pave the best way for C-beauty manufacturers to win on a global stage.

Excellent Diary’s profitable components for China

Yatsen’s star participant has typically discovered its manner into headlines by teaming up with a various array of collaborators, from family names like Oreo and the Discovery Channel to “little recent meat” artists like INTO1’s Liu Yu and Zhu Zhengting. On the similar time, it has additionally constructed a powerful community of rising KOLs and KOCs through social apps like Little Purple Guide and Douyin as a solution to increase its neighborhood attain.

Excellent Diary faucets influencers like Chinese language singer Liu Yu (left) and cultural companions just like the Discovery Channel to face out. Photograph: Weibo

One other space the place Excellent Diary stands out is its potential to transform public site visitors into non-public site visitors. To perform this, the Guangzhou-based home first encourages clients so as to add its private WeChat account. Then, it makes use of digital KOCs to pose as magnificence consultants and on-line pals, posting product opinions and unique promotions to encourage repurchasing. Though Chinese language firms have lengthy used WeChat teams to contact shoppers, Allison Malmsten, the advertising director of Daxue Consulting, says that Excellent Diary was the primary to make non-public site visitors recognized globally.

“[Perfect Diary] makes it so that customers have many entry factors into teams the place the group moderation is automated with a digital KOC, making their non-public site visitors technique very scalable,” she mentioned. And with hundreds of WeChat teams, numbering as much as 500 individuals every, the model has efficiently amassed a big and dependable following.

Heading south to magnificence’s subsequent hotspot

Constructing off this basis, Excellent Diary began eyeing its first worldwide goal in 2020: Southeast Asia. In line with Maria Wang, the top of abroad markets at Excellent Diary, two elements drove this determination. One, “Southeast Asian individuals have a big demand for shopper items and a excessive acceptance of latest merchandise and types,” she mentioned. And two, that “the e-commerce trade remains to be in an early stage of growth, offering us a fantastic probability to leverage the site visitors.”

To grab this market, which is predicted to be price $47.1 billion by 2025, Excellent Diary turned to its tried-and-true China techniques. The collaborations chief dropped a co-branded collection with Sanrio particularly for Southeast Asia and partnered with native stars just like the Vietnamese singer AMEE and the Malaysian influencer Joey Chua to advertise its merchandise. On high of this, the model developed make-up shades to match native pores and skin tones and upgraded its oil management know-how to fulfill shopper wants, Wang added.

Excellent Diary promotes its Sanrio collaboration (left) and partnership with AMEE (proper) forward of the 5.5 Pageant on Shopee. Photograph: Excellent Diary’s Instagram

Up to now, these localization efforts have paid off. On the finish of Might 2021, Excellent Diary was ranked first within the lip product class in Malaysia, first in shade cosmetics in Singapore & Vietnam, and first in unfastened powder gross sales within the Philippines — after just one 12 months within the area. These outcomes not solely attest to the effectiveness of the model’s advertising technique however, extra importantly, the robust urge for food for C-beauty exterior of China.

A not-so-perfect journey to the West

Banking on this urge for food, Excellent Diary has begun making tentative forays into Western markets. From collaborations with huge IPs just like the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork, to tapping American make-up gurus and appointing the Australian singer Troye Sivan as its ambassador, the C-beauty unicorn continues to make use of high-profile companions to assist construct consciousness overseas.

However Kejie Yi, a content material supervisor at China Advertising Insights, argues that larger localization is essential for non-Asian audiences. For instance, whereas Excellent Diary depends partially on non-public site visitors for its home success, she doubts “whether or not that can work in Western nations the place individuals would possibly care extra about privateness and gained’t be comfy permitting commercials to always present up on their social media.”

However understanding differing shopper behaviors isn’t Excellent Diary’s solely concern. In relation to promoting within the West, homegrown rival Florasis beat it to the punch. After capitalizing on its conventional Chinese language designs to realize fame on TikTok and Instagram, the C-beauty disruptor determined to make its merchandise out there for buy within the US, France, Germany, and the UK, amongst different places. Though Excellent Diary now ships to those nations as properly, it might want to double down on rising its model footprint and distribution channels if it desires to be the one to place C-beauty on the map.

On TikTok, Florasis has gained over 96,000 followers and 39 million views on the #Florasis hashtag. Photograph: Screenshots, TikTok

Can C-beauty catch on worldwide?

However whether or not it’s Excellent Diary or Florasis, C-beauty manufacturers will finally face an uphill battle in gaining worldwide recognition. “When discussions about C-beauty manufacturers and merchandise come up on social media, there may be virtually at all times feedback like ‘be careful, they’re a Chinese language model,’ which is adopted by questions on animal testing and manufacturing high quality,” Malmsten advised Jing Each day. “C-beauty manufacturers should flip across the status of ‘Made in China’ labels by offering high quality merchandise with transparency on sustainability and ethics.”

That mentioned, Excellent Diary’s international desires haven’t been dashed but. In line with Malmsten, younger shoppers have a extra malleable notion of China as they had been the primary to develop up “when China was extra than simply the manufacturing facility of the world.” Due to this fact, if the model can win over Millennials, Gen Zers, and Gen Alphas (which account for over half of magnificence spending collectively) with localized advertising and high quality merchandise, maybe it will possibly provide Western heavyweights some wholesome competitors and even give C-beauty’s picture a glow up within the course of.


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