Since spending some time in South Korea I have become a fan of Korean cosmetics. Korean women spend serious money on cosmetics and skincare and the industry has responded by developing technologies and products that are often more effective and better value than western counterparts.
BB cream, although it originated from a clinical product used on cosmetic surgery patients during recovery in Germany, was used by Korean women and over time transformed into the product we know today. When I was in Korea in 2011-12, BB cream had barely hit the shelves in the UK, and the commercial launches only started coming thick and fast about 14 months ago. In Korea, BB cream has been big news for a decade. One of the earlier products to appear and one of the most recognised and trusted brands in Korea, is Dr Jart.
I was delighted when I saw Dr Jart arrive in Boots during the summer of 2012. The UK market has been flooded with BB creams and derivatives, few of which are anything like the BB creams found in Korea. The BB product has lost a lot of its purchasing power due to cynical customers now unwilling to shell out on another not-quite-next-biggest-thing.
On closer inspection of the Dr Jart line in most Boots stores, I was a little confused. Here is a genuinely great product, with great pedigree and the ability to sell really well, but I feel like something is being lost in translation with the UK launch. Of course, I don’t have access to Boot’s sales figures so I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I think this is a good example of a product with fantastic sales potential and so here are some things I’d do differently:
- The product copy needs to be looked at. One product in the range is named ‘Up-Tighten Serum.’ Not only is this awkward English, it conjures up an uncomfortable experience for the consumer, akin to a mechanical process and doesn’t sound like something I’d want to put on my face!
- The BB cream is situated along with the rest of the Dr Jart range in the skincare section. BB cream is make-up. Putting it in the skincare section may confuse consumers.
- Make a point of emphasising that the one shade suits all. Few consumers will buy a foundation product without knowing it matches their skin tone first.
- Furthermore, product swatches/testers should be a given for foundation products.
- This is one of the top BB creams from the home of BB cream! Currently there is no mention of Dr Jart’s history or brand story. Emphasise their expertise as a brand and use it to distinguish from the other BB creams on the market.
- This is just what Boots are doing with a more recent launch of a Japanese moisturising cream called ‘Yu Be’. The product has its own stand in a highly visible location. A brand story has been created, explaining its history and popularity in Japan. It is being marketed as an ‘expert’ product and is part of the Boots’ ‘Latest Finds’ campaign which is targeted at helping consumers discover the latest beauty secrets.