Tapping into trends in Asia

Ivan Rahal, marketing manager, in-cosmetics Asia

Events have always been recognised as an intrinsic part of the B2B marketing mix – and it’s not hard to work out why. For exhibitors they provide an opportunity to promote products to an extensive and highly captive audience whilst visitors can spend just a few days out of the office and meet a huge number of companies offering solutions that, more often than not, meet their needs ten times over.

However, this is only a small piece of the jigsaw. Whilst exhibitions inevitably enable visitors to keep pace with the very latest innovations and cutting-edge developments, they also provide a unique opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge on the current styles, trends, rules and regulations sweeping the industry. This can be a hugely valuable way of gaining market insight, particularly for companies looking to tap into a different or new geographical area. This is why experts presenting on Marketing Trends at this year’s in-cosmetics Asia will be focused on providing delegates with extensive market research, facts, figures, case studies and advice on how to capitalise on the latest beauty trends taking the industry by storm.

There’s nothing more valuable to a brand trying to launch or establish itself in a market than data. Fresh information on specific trends can really help companies know how to tailor their offering to give it the best possible chance of success. Who would know, for example, that nappy rash treatments have experienced a surge in popularity in Thailand over the last few years? Or indeed that medicated skin care is such big news in the country. Nuggets of information like this could provide a potentially lucrative opportunity to companies operating in the respective skin care sectors. Paulene Ong from Euromonitor will give an overview of global and Asian beauty in her presentation, Nokki Arpapat from Insight Asia will look at emerging patterns whilst Anna Ibbotson from Kline will look at how these tie in with the latest personal care ingredient trends.

But it’s not just generic trends that will be discussed at the event. Speakers will also be looking beneath the surface and uncovering all the elements that make the industry tick. Of course, no cosmetics event would be complete without a look at the natural and sustainable side to the industry.

While the trend towards natural products is in full swing across most industries globally, so is the practice of ‘greenwashing’. One of the major issues that the personal care industry faces is concerning sustainability, natural, organic, fairtrade and ecological claims as the subject goes beyond synthetics versus fully organic ingredients. In her presentation, Kline’s Ibbotson will look at the bigger picture of sustainability and the criteria that should be considered when evaluating natural brands. Latest statistics on market size, growth and forecasts in this flourishing market will also be provided.

A number of specific countries will also be the focus of in-depth analysis regarding opportunities available to companies looking to develop their offering in Asia. The Indian Cosmetics & Toiletries Market is currently valued at $950m and in the last five years it has witnessed rapid growth, increasing at an average of 7% year-on-year. Rapid urbanisation, increased purchasing power and a greater awareness of fashion amongst the younger population have all driven growth in the sector, with colour cosmetics, hair colour and men’s grooming products amongst the most bought items. In spite of this, the average consumer spend on cosmetic products in the country is far lower than in other areas of Asia, offering a huge opportunity for companies promising new ideas to succeed, according to the Indian Society of Cosmetic Chemists who will be presenting at the event.

Similarly, the rapid growth in China’s consumer market also means there is scope for companies keen to profit from this unprecedented spending power to succeed. However, as Matthew Crabbe from Access Asia will emphasise, it is a market that must be approached with caution. China is a challenging market and has had its share of successful and failed launches in recent years. His presentation will explore some of the fundamental realities that need to be addressed to make a success of a launch in the country as well as the inherent risks associated with such a project.

The anti-ageing phenomenon continues to gather momentum, with the worldwide market expected to reach $115.5bn by the end of 2010. As the second fastest growing market worldwide, Asia Pacific is a big contributor to this. Sales of anti-ageing cosmeceuticals were expected to rise by $1bn in the region between 2007 and 2010 and there is no sign of this growth abating. Hinako Sugioka Israel from Mintel will look at the phenomenon, focusing in particular on the Japanese market for younger looking skin.

However, some cultures are more complex to service beauty-wise than others. It has been widely documented that some brands from both the west and the Islamic world fail to build successful relationships with Muslim consumers because they fail to understand the consumers they are talking to. A pioneering research study undertaken by Ogilvy and Mather revealed the emergence of what can be called the ‘New Muslim Consumer’ ¬– young, innovative, aware, proud of their religion and achieving a balanced lifestyle of their own. The presentation by John Goodman will highlight how global brands can forge highly successful relationships with Muslim consumers if they approach the task in a sensitive, honest fashion consistent with the core values of Islamic branding.

And one way of doing so could be through embracing the universal values of Halal Cosmetics, as Darhim Hashim, ceo of the Halal Integrity Alliance will explore. For 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, Halal is a way of life that governs how they eat, drink, dress and perform many of their daily functions. Since its conception, the realm of Halal has extended beyond food to take on a more holistic approach. It now not only covers the entire supply chain but also encompasses values such as fairtrade, animal welfare, wholesome and natural, which are fast gaining appeal amongst non-Muslims. An explanation of Halal, associated market opportunities, challenges and sensitivities will all be covered in the presentation.

The free-to-attend Marketing Trends presentations at this year’s in-cosmetics Asia are aimed at giving visitors a fully rounded insight into the opportunities which abound in the continent’s strong personal care industry. The event takes place from 2-4 November 2010. For a full timetable of presentations visit www.in-cosmeticsasia.com/marketingtrends

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