AmorePacific, the nation’s No. 1 cosmetics and skin care maker, is upping the ante in the burgeoning hair care market with specialty niche products based on Korea’s traditional herbal medicine.
The company’s research and development efforts for hair care products date back to the early 1950s when its founder and former president Suh Sung-whan launched ABC Pomade, a hair grease made of natural ingredients aimed at protecting the user’s scalp.
|Ryo ChoUiBang, the best-selling herbal medicine-based scalp shampoo in Japan. (AmorePacific)|
Then the company started studies on adopting herbal medicine into hair care products, which led to the launch of Ginseng Sammi, the nation’s first shampoo brand based on herbal medicine. In 1982, the company also introduced Morim, the first quasi-drug for hair loss here.
Under the leadership of current chairman and CEO Suh Kyung-bae, AmorePacific has maintained its commitment to herbal medicine and hair care products. Now its premium antiaging shampoo brand Ryo is the best-selling brand on the market.
Based on its strong market power on its home turf, Ryo has recently been trying to expand its presence globally. As part of the strategic efforts, the brand is targeting home-shopping channels, the most powerful tools to lure new customers, especially in Asia.
|Ryo Jinsaengbo, AmorePacific’s total antiaging shampoo for oily scalps. (AmorePacific)|
In September 2012, Ryo was introduced in Japan, one of the most competitive beauty markets globally, via a local home-shopping channel, Shop Channel. Six months after the debut, the brand’s premium scalp shampoo, ChoUiBang, became one of the top-selling products on the channel.
Since then, Ryo has had five sell-out shows on Japanese channels. This year, the brand aims to be included on the top 10 list in the beauty category, while launching new products via more premium channels.
Following the successful debut in Japan, Ryo also entered Taiwan and China in 2013. In those crucial markets, its premium products such as HeukUnMo, a hair strengthener shampoo, and JinSaengBo, a total antiaging shampoo, are renewing awareness about Korea’s herbal medicine as well.
This year, Ryo aims to continue its success story in other markets such as Singapore and Thailand.
In the meantime, AmorePacific has poured considerable resources into studying the scalps and hair of Asian women and antiaging care in recent years. In particular, its latest study on Chinese women received attention in China last year.
Together with a Chinese research team, the company conducted a survey on 1,343 Chinese women living in six cities between 2011 and 2012. The study found that Chinese women started experiencing hair loss in their 30s on average, earlier than Korean women, who shed hair in their 40s.
The company plans to use the study results in developing new products for Chinese customers.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)