Massive potential for lifestyle products in Asia
From beauty and personal care products to home-use and comfort products to fashion products, Asia – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – is expected to account for over half of the global demand for consumer lifestyle products by 2025. E-commerce, if anything, has helped consolidate the market development model of product-display-through-retail and sell-online that was becoming the norm for lifestyle products even prior to the pandemic.
AMA has over the years seen a gradual uptick in inquiries we receive from boutique and small-and-medium lifestyle brands from Europe and North America that want to enter Asian markets. Naturally China and India are the biggest consumer products markets in Asia. However, we often advise clients that are new to Asia to start with a smaller developed test market such as Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore, or even Japan before rolling out across the rest of Asia. Not that the above markets are similar in culture or usage behavior (they are all in fact unique and very different), but there are similarities in terms of purchasing power, qualitative use of lifestyle products and, very importantly, e-commerce penetration and purchase behavior.
We often advise clients that are new to Asia to start with a smaller developed test market such as Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore, or even Japan before rolling out across the rest of Asia
The other side of the equation is finding the right marketing and distribution partner for a given Asian geography, unless the brand plans to have its own marketing team on the ground. Positioning, pricing and social media outreach are extremely vital given the number of premium brands that are vying for the attention of Asian consumers. What compounds the problem is that established distributors and marketers are already handling multiple brands and have limited bandwidth as well as exclusivity clauses in some cases that prohibit them from taking on more brands. The solution then becomes trying out distributors of other products that may have an interest in expanding into a new product area. This is where AMA comes in to help our clients evaluate and understand potential distributors who can be long-term partners in market development while at the same time have the marketing smarts (not easy to find a lot of the time!) to maximize business opportunities with the right consumer groups.
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