‘Flower Boy’ new potential market for cosmetic brands

Heroleads cosmetic brands


  • ‘Beauty Men’, or men with a refined sense of taste, is the recent trend taking over the Asian region.
  • Beauty brands across the globe have been releasing a wide range of male products to help compete over this segment.
  • ‘Influencer Marketing’ is changing and influencing the world as to how to look good as a man, and was selected as one of the effective marketing strategies to win the men’s market.

Seeing a manly man wear makeup isn’t a big deal in this modernised world anymore. Makeup is for everyone and only old-fashioned men question it.
‘Beauty Men’ or men’s metrosexual lifestyle has spread throughout the Asia region, especially in Korea and China. Leading e-Commerce analysed customer insights and reports that the male audience does not shy away to put eyebrow pencil, lipstick or even girly skin care in their shopping cart.
This phenomenon is reflecting that the myth of patriarchy has been declining. The manly man who tries to pose handsomely all the time, or the gangster boy who bullies people around are outdated, real guys today have  many different dimensions.
K-POP culture: Be Beautiful like a Korean
BBC’s Saira Asher gave us some ideas about this trend;  in the 80s, the white-collar man had more money and spent it on a tidy suit or luxury wristwatch to improve their manly image.
However, after the emergence of the K-Pop wave in the 90s, the entertainment industry has shaped a new definition of masculinity to society and put cute, friendly and gentle boys as men’s role model.
Korea named them ‘Konninum’, a combination word between ‘flower’ and ‘handsome boy’. The ideal boys nowadays needs to dye their hair, wear makeup and moisturise their skin perfectly.
Traveling in Korea, you would see an ordinary man applying foundation, BB cream or moisturiser on the street with no shame, especially in fashion areas like Myeong-dong.
The shift in cultural expectation perhaps reassures the impact of influencers, Korean male idols in this case, towards fans as well as an entire society. That’s the reason why cosmetic brands these days can never overlook the men’s market and influencer marketing.
Male beauty: Opportunities for cosmetic brands
BBC reports further,  apart from Asia, ideas about how to look good as a man are changing across the globe and are making Korean cosmetic brands, such as Tony Moly, Innisfree and Etude House, win European and American markets.
Even the oldest luxury brands (such as YSL, Estee Lauder, Clinique and L’Occitane) cannot withstand this trend and have hired male bloggers or presenters as brand ambassador.
One of the successful case studies is James Charles, who is a LGBT blogger with more than 7 million followers on Instagram, and Li Jiaqi, the metrosexual blogger who is making around 1.7 million USD by reviewing Lipstick on Alibaba.
What we have learned is technology isn’t the sole thing evolving but culture and attitude have been changing constantly as well. The experienced marketing experts are able to feel these pulses and are capable of creating ‘touching’ and ‘senseable’ campaigns to win the fierce competition.

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Rekha Rawat

Experienced Senior Marketing Strategist with a demonstrated history of working in market research and digital marketing industry. Passionate for both professional and creative writing as well as project & strategic management. Excels at creating marketing strategies, campaigns to execute strategic plans, making high-quality reports within stipulated deadlines, and handling key projects supporting business goals.

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