“Design in China”​ e11 – Colorkey – A New Player in Makeup in Asia

Colorkey – A New Player in Makeup in Asia

As China became the world’s manufacturing hub in the 2000s, most manufacturers and brands focused on making products for the outside world. But with the growing spending power of the Chinese population, that narrative is changing. Take, for example, the cosmetic industry that has started catering to the local population with homegrown brands. One such brand is Colorkey, founded in 2018.

Colorkey has emerged as a brand with a unique aesthetic. Their slogan ‘dare to be different’ has resonated with young consumers in China. But it’s not simply the variety of products or a catchy slogan that is helping the brand establish itself in an increasingly competitive industry; it’s also the brand’s colorful and lively image with popping packaging featuring ice cream cone emblems. The price range is accessible for Chinese and Western customers, making the brand more enticing for those who don’t yet have the budget for luxury cosmetics international brands provide.

Recently, the brand launched Hello Kitty-themed collection with lipsticks, foundations, eyebrow pencils, and an eyeshadow palette. The collection and all other Colorkey makeup are also available for shipping worldwide, indicating the brand intends to go beyond Asia, where it’s currently popular. While international beauty brands still dominate the Chinese market, the growing consumption has given rise to local brands. China is now the second biggest market for beauty and personal care products. Sales crossed RMB 400 billion in 2021. But local players in cosmetics, like Colorkey, have a lot of challenges competing with international brands. While they have better knowledge about the local market, they don’t provide as much variety as international brands that put out products after products. Chinese cosmetic brands seem to spend a lot of money on marketing, especially leveraging the use of livestreams, which is big in China. But many of these brands are finding it hard to establish a loyal customer base. A lack of investment in research and development is to be blamed.

Colorkey is one of the few homegrown makeup companies that has managed to make some mark on Chinese consumers. It was among the top 10 best-selling beauty brands on T-mall in 2020. Its competitors from within China include Perfect Diary and Florasis, but it gets even more competitive when you consider giants like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder, which are very popular in Asia. Chinese beauty companies often look up to K-Beauty brands that use unique ingredients and feature instantly recognizable packaging. But to attract more Chinese consumers, it seems like these local brands will need to invest more in product development. Consumers are now much more sophisticated, so brands must catch up with them. 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *