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Professional Skin Care Comes Home

By: Liz Grubow
Posted: August 6, 2008

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In addition to a strict attention to detail in product packaging, Murad also took notice of how the product is merchandised at store level and found that space for information on the shelf is often limited. The company initiated an online effort as part of its marketing strategy in an attempt to be a direct resource to consumers. This interactive online evaluation tool provides personalized information about how to properly care for skin. Visitors provide answers about skin type, skin concerns and lifestyle, including personal habits, brand usage and gender. After completing the online evaluation form, users are directed to a page that briefly explains the products available from Murad in a three-step regimen. The system then generates a complete, personalized report that itemizes each skin care problem. Murad’s products target the specific problems and puts the founder’s theories to practice.

Procter & Gamble’s Olay has a similar online tool that has captured the attention of thousands of consumers. The brand realized that little room is available at point-of-purchase to explain to women the features and benefits of its products and wanted to take a proactive role in helping women with a customized routine suited to their needs. The Web site leads customers through a series of questions that help them determine which of the Olay products and/or regimens will be most effective for them. A printed report is available on demand so that the consumer can take this to the store to assist on their next shopping trip.

The U.S. Impact on Asia

At the same time U.S. consumers adopt European brands and trends, U.S. glamour trends and behaviors are influencing Asia. China is fast becoming a land of opportunity for sophisticated, professionally enhanced skin care products. Due in part to a younger demographic, higher disposable incomes and growing interest in Western beauty trends, Chinese consumers are past the basic skin care regimen of cleansing and moisturizing.

Growing interest in professional level products includes toners, antiaging products and facial masks. More women are entering the Asian workplace and are becoming more aware of how their appearance can affect their careers. Mothers are now actually learning beauty regimens from their daughters. With a long and powerful tradition of beauty culture, perhaps this helps explain the explosive growth in China’s beauty sector and a new obsession with extremes of beauty culture, such as plastic surgery, in a market worth more than $2.4 billion, according to China Daily.

In recent years, many middle-class Chinese nationals have visited spas and professional beauty establishments for the first time. In fact, the market for facial treatments is estimated to be the third largest in the world, putting it ahead of any country in Europe.