The “top” of the make-up industry to meet at MakeUp in Seoul!

With an increasing number of exhibitors – more than 33%, the second edition of MakeUp in Seoul promises to be the major event of the global professional make-up industry in Asia. Because not only the number of exhibitors from Korea is increasing, but several European and US suppliers will also be present for the first time. CC Kim, Sales Export Manager of Samhwa Plastic Co., Dominique and Eric Bouvier, respectively Chairwoman and General Manager of Stand Cosmetics Europe and Thomas Weckerle, Ceo, Weckerle invite you to come at the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, on 15 and 16 April next.

MakeUp in…™: The Asian Beauty market is still recording an important growth. What do you see as your main strong points to be successful in this competitive market?

CC Kim: The advantages for a Korean company are the following:

1) K-POP trend: Currently, the Korean beauty industry is garnering attention with the K-POP style. It will be an advantage in a competitive market.

2) Fusion bulk (multi functional contents): Korean Beauty industry is very focused on developing simple makeup methods with fusion bulk. Korea was the first country to launch BB and CC creams in the world and it was a huge success in the markets. Building on this experience, the Korean beauty industry will introduce new fusion contents.

3) New primary packaging: Korean packaging suppliers are well trained to respond quickly to demand coming from customers. So they can in no time, present new products and functionalities matching customer demand.

Eric Bouvier: That’s a good question! I would be tempted to say the French touch: in terms of dosage form, it is a very subtle, very attractive sensoriality, that sticks to consumers’ expectations, with a certain image of France, which makes them dream – provided the products setting is elaborated enough; the search for more naturalness in the look; a well-groomed side but not too over done, with that sassy, je-ne-sais-quoi, touch and the freedom to assume one’s flaws to turn them into assets, has become a model (the French way) in Asia. As shown by the success of certain products, especially those that cut short multi layer rituals (the Japanese way). Furthermore, an understanding of Asian beauty habits is absolutely critical to develop a suitable offer.

Thomas Weckerle: We are a fully global company. Since 2010 we have a production site in Hangzhou and manufacture there for the local markets. This brings us very close to the market and let’s us understand the needs and requirements of the different markets in Asia.

MakeUp in…™: You have an international presence. You therefore have a global vision of the evolution of demand at an international level. In your opinion, what main criteria characterize the world’s four major markets, which are Europe, North America, South America and Asia?

CC Kim: We believe that barriers no longer exist in beauty markets, because of information sharing through social media. The concept of simple make-up with fusion bulk and new packaging will be the standard in the beauty industry, like cushion foundation.

Dominique Bouvier: Europe is a mature market with a knowledgeable “consummactor” who knows how to read labels and now demands transparency, including in the understanding of the company’s corporate values. North America, is still a growing market with two axes: (a) a research for performance, efficiency beyond promises, beyond the cosmetic side, rapprochement of cosmetics with inversive dermatology; (b) a search for finesse, social status, cultural products that also nourish their intellect.

South America, is a growing market but with a very wide disparity in purchasing power and complicated business rules and practices compared to tightly regulated mature markets. And Asia, a growing market too, eager for novelties but with a huge turnover, and no brand loyalty; a wide disparity of products with regards to their dosage form, but also depending on the climate and the exposure to environmental pollution.

Thomas Weckerle: Particularly in Asia the consumers still need to be lead to color cosmetic. Europe and North America are probably comparable in terms of challenges – the markets require cutting-edge products to gain attention in a highly competitive product landscape. The consumer is looking for multi-benefit products at a best trade. South America has to cope in a positive way with the high demand of a growing market. All markets demand a local production.

MakeUp in…™: What do you think 2015 will be like in your field, in Europe, the Americas and Asia?

CC Kim: The Asian market always wants to have new products and brands can also take the risk of launching a new product more than on any other market. So we can get the opportunity of a first-hand experience on this market. Once we succeeded on this market with our product, the European and US markets will probably adopt it too. So we plan to present as many new products and functional packagings as we can on the Asian market.

Eric Bouvier: Difficult, but in our humble opinion, the “major step” point in the reversal of consumption patterns with the prevalence of social network prescriptions, web demos, user prescriptions, the brick and mortar shop becomes “marginal” in the rise of the “I like, I don’t like” the product.

Thomas Weckerle: In Europe we expect a constant market, whereas in the Americas and Asia we expect growth.

MakeUp in…™: The concept of full-service seems more and more present and desired. Do you agree, and if so, how do you adapt to this situation? What are the advantages and possible drawbacks?

CC Kim: Absolutely, I agree with you. We also have a lot of inquiries from customers wanting full service. This is why we are going to broaden our connections with filling, OEM and ODM companies. With these connections, we will be able to develop packagings, considering the nature of the content to achieve the best product.

Dominique Bouvier: Yes, we can quite clearly feel a trend towards a new allocation key for roles: with on the one side the supply chain with a single player for everything that’s before placing on the market, and on the other, all the elements that play a part in the availability and promotion of products to consumers. However, this service offer has a price and it is unrealistic for brand owners to claim offering reliable, quality and luxurious products, when you see the number of stakeholders involved, let alone the tremendous pressure, in the end, on the contract manufacturer’s margin. It is therefore schizophrenic to want to increase the value added through differentiation, which relies on innovative state of the art technologies, to both want to surprise the consumer and reduce costs. The other major contradiction is regulatory: the person responsible for placing on the market in Europe must commit to making sure that the whole product that will end up in the hands of the consumer is absolutely safe; this responsibility is therefore at risk in the case of lack of information or grey areas on the exact origin and the chemical composition of the product’s components.

Thomas Weckerle: Weckerle already provides a full service, even starting with process engineering to packaging development and plastic production. Further on, we have worldwide production sites in the Americas, Europe and Asia supported by local R&D Centers for formulation development. The advantage to offer such a full service under one roof is that we are able to cut down lead-times and speed up the process to market.

MakeUp in…™: You exhibit at almost all the “MakeUp in…™” trade shows. In a few words what, do you believe are the key strengths of these events?

CC Kim: Compared to others, “MakeUp in…” events are the most advanced trade shows for the cosmetic industry. Furthermore, the locations of the exhibitions are perfect. Paris, New-York and Seoul are exactly the places where SAMHWA wants to showcase its products. We can find new customers and meet all our other regular customers. Through the “MakeUp in…” shows, we can strengthen our relationship with customers.

Eric Bouvier: These are short events, which are very specialised and very well prepared by yourselves: we appreciate the way you have of attracting “customers and potential prospects for the exhibitor”, through relevant events, without making the visitor feel captive; in other words, you have a way of “awakening” him, of placing him in a “readiness” to listen, of challenging his appetite, without boring him.

There is no over biding in the exhibitors’ showcase which results in a certain “imposed” generosity with mutual respect among competitors, very conducive to transverse exchanges. This gives us a very much needed esprit de corps, in times of harsh business!

Thomas Weckerle: Indeed we exhibit at all Make-Up shows. These events offer a highly professional organization combined with a selected target audience, yet a private and personal atmosphere.