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Olivier Vérot

The 10 most popular beauty brands on Chinese search engines

Chinese people are fond of the internet and account for half of the netizens worldwide. Being heavily present on the Chinese internet is a must-do for being successful on the Chinese market. So what are the most successful brands in China, and what kind of lessons can be learnt from them?

Baidu headquarters, Haidian District, Beijing (Photo: Hwanghsuhui)

Baidu headquarters, Haidian District, Beijing (Photo: Hwanghsuhui)

The most popular cosmetic brands on Baidu, the leading search engine of the Chinese web, are:

  • Lancôme. One of the leading brands in the Chinese luxury cosmetics market, Lancôme (L’Oréal Group) opened a first shop in Hangzhou in 1997 and became rapidly successful. The brand succeeded to stay close to its customers with products available in the most remote parts of China. The opening of an e-commerce website and the brand involvement in e-commerce websites such as Tmall gave it an even greater reach toward Chinese customers.
  • Estée Lauder. Thanks to an unavoidable presence on the Chinese internet, this beauty brand now ranks at the top. To promote the brand, Estee Lauder bought a Baidu Brand Zone to always appear at the top of Baidu SERP [1] for a number of keywords. It is very efficient for the top brands in a market but very expensive as well (around 10000 euros a month).
  • Shiseido. The Japanese brand founded in 1957 has gone a long way since its debut. They entered the Chinese market some 30 years ago and have been developing ever since. They are now very present in mainland China. Shiseido’s strategy focused on teaching Chinese customers how to use the products. The brand communicates on the fact that its products corresponds to the specific needs of Asian skins since Chinese women do not age the same way Westerners do and have different needs
  • Osiao. Asia-oriented high-end brand designed by Estée Lauder. The group has been to great length to ensure that every single aspect of the brand is Asia-friendly down to the single detail, whether it is the brand, the product and package design or the name. Besides, claims focus on revealing the skin’s light and insist on lightness and whiteness, something Chinese highly seek.
  • Chanel. Very famous for its perfumes, the French brand builds up on the sense of prestige. Indeed that is exactly what Chinese women are looking for in fragrances and they are very proud to show off their bottle of Chanel No 5 sitting on their shelves.
  • Magic Holding. This facemasks company is meeting a huge success thanks to a great appetite. Indeed, facemasks are seen as the ultimate tool to skincare, something Chinese women care about very much.
  • Clarins. Founded in 1954, Clarins is a French brand focused on face and body care. As part of an aggressive strategy to take market shares, they opened their own shop in Shanghai in 2011. They have a very strong social media-oriented digital marketing strategy. However, they do not invest a lot in buying keywords in the Baidu brand zone.
  • SKII is a Japanese beauty brand created by Procter & Gamble in 1980. This brand is famous in in China, where it is appreciated for its Japanese origin. Indeed, Chinese customers consider that Japanese skin is akin to theirs and that Japanese products are not only technically advanced but also more adapted to their skin than say Western cosmetics.
  • Olay. A Procter & Gamble brand bought in 1985; Olay targets its customer with a wide range of product starting at as cheap as 20 yuan to several hundreds. Even though Olay means trustworthiness in the eyes of Chinese customers, the brand is now challenged by Chinese low-end mass-market brands and by luxury brands that adopt a more aggressive strategy. Yet, this brand is amongst the most popular considered to the number of queries about beauty brands.
  • Inoherb. Created in 2000 by Ms Feng Shuai, Inhoherb has quickly become a major brand in China. Its core values state that beauty comes from within. Positioned as a middle-end brand, the brand has a loyal consumer base amongst the middle class. This attention has translated into a very good ranking on Baidu.

Why is it important to be popular on search engines?

Popularity on Chinese search engines directly translates into better brand image and brand awareness. Without a good ranking on Baidu, newcomers in the Chinese industry will have a very hard time earning their share of the market and this is an understatement. A good SEO leads to a increase in trust from potential customers, making them more likely to buy the brand’s products, regardless of how big or small it is.

Olivier Vérot


[1] SERP = search engine results page

© 2015 - Premium Beauty News -
about Olivier Vérot
Olivier Vérot

Based in China since 2007, Olivier is specialized in the promotion and support of cosmetic and beauty brands in China. “While the Chinese market is attractive because of its size, it is very complicate. Brands must deal with distribution issues, registration formalities, and communication challenges. Above all, they must raise the interest of today’s Chinese consumers,” he says.

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