Products related to cosmetic accessories in China are increasing 6 percent YOY. The primary market drivers are China’s growing upper middle class, the changing consumer behavior towards premium and high-end products, as well as the development of e-commerce. However, Hu Yuwan, project manager at Daxue Consulting, clarifies: “It is challenging, as China is different concerning awareness. There is only relatively low awareness towards the various types of beauty accessories in comparison to other products in the cosmetics industry. One need to educate the consumers. Thus, it is crucial to find the best distribution channel and to apply a right branding strategy in China.”
Having weak sales in China forced the client to take actions
Daxue Consulting’s client, a major American manufacturer of premium beauty accessories in China, experienced poor sales in the country. Therefore, the group approached Daxue’s research team, on the one hand, to learn about consumers’ purchase and consumption habits, on the other hand, to help develop its brand awareness and brand image among the target group, as well as to structure their distribution network in China better.
A customized project to enhance the client’s sales of beauty accessories in China
Daxue Consulting started the study with an extensive desk research to gain an overall overview of the market, about trends, market drivers, and consumers, as well as secondary data about the client’s competitors, and the distribution environment including a comparison of different channels, pricing, or online promotion. Through social listening, the research team could obtain first insights into customers preferences, awareness, and perception of the brand compared to its competitors and detect strengths and weaknesses.
Moreover, Daxue Consulting carried out store checks on-site to discover and understand how to improve the sales of their beauty accessories in China. The team benchmarked sales performance and brand visibility among competitors in different store types and cities. It included an analysis of the brands’ characteristics, the product range, packaging, and positioning, as well as pricing strategies and feedback on promotions. The store-checks enabled the identification of best practices and the definition of an ideal value proposition for the client.
The consultants also designed and organized focus group discussions to deeply investigate consumer insights on beauty accessories in China, the influence of branding, promotion and the in-store environment to the customers’ buying behavior, or their preferred store types and online distribution channels. This step helped the consultants to test the acceptance of concepts, and know which changes are essential to undertake for the brand’s success in the Chinese market.
Daxue delivered a comprehensive strategic plan for the client
Finally, Daxue Consulting cross-analyzed the gathered data and developed an exact strategy route. The detailed plan comprised concrete, actionable recommendations concerning branding, how to best position the brand in the market, how to differentiate the brand and create a unique brand identity. Additionally, the report encompassed the segmentation and suggestions of offline and online distribution channels, pricing strategies, and POS materials to apply to increase visibility, awareness, and sales performance. Plus, the final report comprised key market trends and drivers, a mapping of competitors, and purchase preferences, behavior and motivations to buy beauty accessories in China.
Daxue’s expertise in the fashion and beauty accessories evolved from various executed projects in that sector including, for instance:
- A European client, manufacturer and product designer of leather backpacks, wallets, and notebooks, aiming to grow its business through a proper retail strategy in China
- A client, operating in the luxury fashion industry, seeking to introduce fashion accessories into the Chinese market
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