Understanding the emotional reaction of the consumer is crucial in both the beauty and tech industries, experts said at the Seoul Design Forum on Wednesday at Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
Speaking on the globalization of Korean beauty products and the distinctive characteristics of different foreign markets, makeup artist Seo Su-jin, CEO of cosmetics brand S2J, asserted that “simply imposing what we like about Korean beauty is not globalization.”
“Here, we prefer dewy, pale skin. But Western women prefer a more matte, bronze complexion,” Seo said. “We have to develop products and marketing strategies that can target these different tastes.”
Seo, who has been working in China as the chief makeup artist for various TV programs, said that taking into account the varying climate and culture of each country is crucial in connecting to local consumers.
“Russia is very dry and cold. Southeast Asia is hot and humid. In China and Europe, women don’t like fussy beauty regimens. In the Middle East, women like dark, vivid eye makeup,” Seo explained. “You have to understand the reality of these places for people to really respond to your products.”
A speaker addresses youth entrepreneurship and design innovation at the Seoul Design Forum, held at Dongdaemun Design Plaza on Wednesday. (Rumy Doo/The Korea Herald)
The tech session featured Hwang Ki-seok, CEO of technology consulting agency Right Brain, who addressed the importance of fusing design and technology.
Introducing the examples of tech and design behemoths such as IBM and IDEO, respectively, Hwang emphasized the need for collaboration between diverse fields to create a unique “user experience,” or UX.
IDEO, for example, has incorporated an eclectic group of experts including linguists, biologists and psychologists into its design team to deliver a user experience that stimulates all levels of sense and thought.
“These people aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about design, but their collaboration allows them to consider very different aspects of a user’s reactions,” Hwang said. “That means focusing not only on numerical data, but also observing users’ emotional reactions to each product.”
“What exactly is ‘user experience,’ then?” asked Park Sung-ho, CEO of Boud, which produced the award-winning Flexicam Pic, a long-stemmed, flexible camera that can be strapped onto different objects.
Park defined user experience as the collection of subjective responses and feelings that the usage of a product or service delivers.
“UX is like a conversation that takes place with the user, like a personal relationship. There are some people who we react to and instantly feel an affinity for, and we can’t explain it logically,” he said. “That’s how a product should attract users. What determines consumption, ultimately, is not reason, but emotion.”
By Rumy Doo (firstname.lastname@example.org