I. The new consumer generation for beauty: Generation Z
- Gen Z refers to the generation born between 1995 and 2005. The influence through peer group through social media in this generation is enormous. Also known as ‘Young and Rich’ generation due to its powerful consumption power
- The chart below is a demographic chart of Chinese population as of 2017. Currently 20s and 40s take up the biggest proportion. According to Kantar Group, Chinese gen Z population is expected to reach 150 million, and its spending power is expected to take up 40% of global gen Z’s spending power in 2020.
Figure1. Chinese demographics by age and sex
- The IMF forecasts 2020 Chinese GDP at $ 15.5 billion. Consumption accounts for about 50% out of total GDP of China. Direct spending of gen Z in China is expected to reach $140 million in 2020. In addition to this, gen Z spends 24% of its household budget (compared to global average of 15%), aside from direct consumption. Therefore, gen Z’s influence on China’s overall consumption is likely to increase gradually.
II. Characteristics of Gen Z #1. Self-consciousness
- Gen Z is particularly interested in his/her own appearance because she knows that her photo can be taken anytime and uploaded online anywhere. Gen Z also puts a heavy emphasis on packing of products they use.
- Sensitivity to visualization: the term “instagrammability” was created to reflect the characteristics of people who always takes pictures of anything(friends, food, beauty products, etc.) and shares on social media. The exact meaning of the term is whether something looks pretty enough to share on Instagram.
- Thus, gen Z who are highly self-conscious takes into consideration the design factors and packaging of beauty products in decision making process.
III. Characteristics of Gen Z #2. Bias-free
- Gen Z refrains from judging others because they seek values such as freedom and equality. They also possess deeper curiosity and higher desire for communication toward new things, compared to previous generations.
- According to McKinsey&Company’s survey, gen Z shows a more open attitude toward others than previous generations, as seen in the charts below.
Figure2. Gen Z’s response on following questions
IV. Glossier: Brand that successfully targeted Young & Rich
- Glossier is a brand that has made use of these characteristics of Young & Rich to promote their products with successful marketing. Launched online in 2014, the brand speaks out loud to its users ‘More skin, less makeup .
- Simple design with no overpackaging, ‘I want that on my bathroom shelf’-looking products
- Glossier is a pioneer in introducing new formulas. Blusher is in a tube container, so that one can squeeze the product and apply on to face. Eyeshadow is in a lip gloss bottle, so the application on eyelids is easier and smoother. Glossier’s products do not require any makeup tool other than the user’s hands, so they helped people get more comfortable about the idea of wearing makeup.
- The price range of Glossier has no big difference from other brands in the market
- Eyebrow gel $16 / Cream blusher $18 / Skin tint(Tinted moisturizer) $26
- Emily Weiss, the founder, first introduced Glossier in her blog Into the Gloss, and the initial number of products were 4.
- With enthusiastic support from its customers, Glossier opened its first store in New York in late 2016. Until now, Glossier products can only be purchased on official websites and brand shops, providing a unique brand experience.
- Online-oriented marketing: Blog ‘Into the gloss’, Instagram, YouTube
- Blog posts are mainly for brand related news, cosmetics trends, and interviews with industry professionals
- Instagram is mainly used to create a certain image about the brand and raise user involvement. Official Glossier accounts shares not only the images of products but also images of desirable life style. The account also uploads user-generated contents and tags people who have used glossier products.
- Video marketing through YouTube focuses on “showing ordinary people’s daily life” rather than “product advertising.” Glossier products are naturally embedded in the videos. These videos are called ‘Glossier Get ready with me,’ and there is no mention about the features or price of the product used in the video. After purchasing Glossier products, consumers make a similar video and share on YouTube, which automatically serves to promote the brand, unintentionally.
Link: https://youtu.be/D-Ameu6p02c https://youtu.be/Nqx4cnBmTks
- People that appear in Glossier’s YouTube videos vary in race, age, nationality, and occupation
- One of the most prominent Gen Z in the US, Maddie Ziegler(born in 2002, actor, model, influencer) also uploaded a video after using Glossier’s products. The video now hit 2 million views.
V. Glossier in China
- According to MeasureChina’s dashboard, Glossier’s sales grew from 6,224 yuan on April 2018 to 354,687 yuan on April 2019. Although we see some monthly fluctuations, the local demand for the brand is steadily growing.
Figure3. Monthly sales revenue of Glossier in Taobao
- On December 2018, a Chinese singer Angela Chang promoted Glossier in Xiao Hongshu, and we saw a sharp increase in demand for the brand thereafter.
- The brand does not have a flagship store in Tmall yet. Therefore, the recent sales growth can be attributed to Taobao’s individual sellers.
- In the case of the Korean brand Innisfree, the brand officially entered China after gaining reputation among Taobao’s individual sellers. Since Glossier is growing more popular among Instagram users of China, we can expect it to officially launch in Chinese market in the near future.
- Many sellers in Taobao are selling Glossier products. The table below is a reference for product details and key reviews.
Table1. Product and seller details of Glossier in Taobao