For almost 20 years, Florence Bernardin and her team have been deciphering and analyzing Asian consumers, trends, and cosmetic products. Thanks to an ever-growing expertise, they highlighted flagship products from Korea, like the BB cream and cushions, and deciphered Chinese market expectations. Now, they are focusing on the offering developed in South-East Asia, a region rich in indie, nature-oriented brands. Their approach targeting brands and suppliers unveiled the richness and inventiveness of this area in terms of ingredients, formulas and textures, packaging, and hybrid concepts.
Florence Bernardin’s skills gradually seduced the greatest global cosmetics leaders, including Asian companies, in search of in-depth knowledge of these markets and their specificities.
In the past 16 years, the watch offering got wider from Japan to China, where the annual growth rate reached 21% in the cosmetics industry starting from 2014, and as far as South Korea, which boasts the world’s biggest cosmetics consumers, and more recently, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Thailand – dynamic countries whose characteristics (climate, religion, skin types) require extensive analysis.
“We have really made progress with market changes: Korea has become the world’s innovation laboratory, and makeup and skincare brands made in and for China have boomed. But we have a sweet tooth, so we increasingly focus on new markets who have been growing from an economic standpoint, and whose beauty offering is now very actively revealing itself to the world, driven by an ever-influencing Korean model which also has firmly anchored local specificities. These markets will keep opening, but they do have specific needs, and we are here to decipher them,” explains Florence Bernardin.
An external perspective
Based in new offices, west of Paris, the team is now composed of ten employees of four different nationalities who are experts of their own country.
Information & Inspiration, which became Asia Cosme Lab in October 2019, helps both brands and suppliers enhance various areas of their offering development strategy: market visits, range development, formula assessment, concepts and storytelling validation, comprehensive overview of the local product offering, follow-up of influencers and retail…
“Our expertise is relevant in that we have an external perspective, which is the reason why we count an increasing number of local players among our customers: they ask us for our vision of their own market. From the outside, you always see things more objectively,” says Florence Bernardin.
In the near future, Asia Cosme Lab aims to develop their overview offering on indie brands to conclude financial agreements, analyze the boom of local brands, follow up new formulas, and extensively analyze emerging segments: perfume, men, baby care, senior care, halal beauty… Starting from next year, they will publish a newsletter about the markets mentioned and provide free or payable online access to whole articles on topical issues.
These prospects are perfectly in line with the economic and demographic dynamics of Asian countries, whose annual growth rate is estimated at 4% from 2018 to 2020 in the Asia-Pacific region.