17 Jan 2010

South Korea: Cosmetics Marketing


International and imported brands are always expensive. It is such the case in Malaysia. Brands like Kiehl's, Loccitane, Body Shop,Origins. etc. Even the South Korean ones.

During my time in South Korea, I did not really look at the international and imported brands there as I was only going to get the korean skincare products.

When my korean friend, Hyun-Ju who had just returned from Sydney to Seoul told me that Kiehl's was also relatively quite expensive in both Australia, and South Korea, I begin to wonder why. Imagine a 15ml Kiehl's Lip Balm for 21,000won (about RM63) !

Korean Air currently has a promotion for 25,000won for 3 x Kiehl's lip balm tubes (15ml)-- but I am not really interested in it, since we can get it for equally cheaper if not relatively fairly priced back here in Kuala Lumpur?

Kiehl's range of products may be fairly expensive in Kuala Lumpur, but perhaps it is not as high as what the South Koreans may have to pay for a similar product.

In South Korea, for example Kiehl's, Loccitane, Origins, Make Up Professional, Clinique, Lancome, SK II, Clarins, Jurlique, and the like could only be found in departmental stores like Shinsegae. Lotte, as well as Shilla.

Which will give you and idea of how high their price range there is like.


I think the reason why South Korea decided to have local branded skincare (which is expensive for us anyways!) is due to the fact that they do not want revenue going out of the country. You can just count the number of korean brands out there..

Nature Republic, 
Tony Moly, 
Hoi, Etude House, 
Face Shop, 
Skin Food, 
Innis Free, 
It's Skin, 
etc, and the list continues to grow!

With such a huge variety of korean skincare range, its no wonder why the local residents may not really consider getting international brands. It is probably beyond the reach of the typical wage earner.. not to mention that perhaps the local industry is trying to protect their own market?

Nonetheless, unless you are filthy rich, you would not want to pay 21,000won for just a lip balm, when a local korean branded lip balm goes for about 3,500 to 5,500won..

If you are wondering, I gave Hyun-Ju my Kiehl's Cranberry flavored lip balm. She can show people she uses a Kiehl's lip balm now. LOL. ^^

It is definitely a good idea to study a skincare brand's origins the next time you go travelling.

Australia is definitely cheaper to get Jurlique products at most times of the year. France for Yves Rocher, the UK for Body Shop and etc....

1 comment:

kl said...

:) am thinking of the same too!