The popular Chinese makeup brand Florasis is set to expand to the U.S. market after seeing astonishing success in its home country over the past 5 years.
A New Global Competitor
Founded in 2017 by Wu Chenglong and Fei Man in Hangzhou, China, Florasis focuses on exploring traditional beauty while staying true to the philosophy of Chinese aesthetics. Using innovative technology, the brand unifies makeup and skincare to curate products that honor and give homage to femininity.
Florasis recently expanded to the Japanese market after successfully operating in 46 digital markets across the globe. In April they announced their expansion to the United States market.
Prior to this announcement, Florasis products were only available online to U.S.-based consumers. However, the brand will soon be available in department stores, and Florasis is considering opening a physical location in the U.S.
According to Gabby Chen, head of international expansion at Florasis, the U.S. will be the company’s “biggest overseas sales drive.” Florasis will have to compete with competitors like Shiseido, Dior, Lancome, and the South Korean owned conglomerate Amorepacific. But after profiting a total of $141 million dollars over the past 5 years, Florasis has the potential to compete on a global scale.
Aesthetics of the Makeup Market
The aesthetics of each makeup brand have the capacity to appeal or alienate certain groups of people as makeup trends vary by country. The typical Chinese makeup customers seek softer and minimal makeup, whereas customers in the West and in European countries typically seek bold and expressive looks.
The Western market is very different from Florasis’s typical consumer. Gabby Chen acknowledges that there will need to be greater variety and inclusivity for skin tones overseas. The brand will have to take into account the differences in makeup styles and consumer habits, according to Chen.
Elisa Harca, co-founder of Shanghai- and Hong Kong-based marketing agency Red Ant Asia, similarly understands the difficulties that come with introducing a new brand overseas. She notes, “[I]n today’s consumer landscape, merely being a brand from a specific country is no longer sufficient [as a point of difference] to capture consumers’ attention. Whether it’s Western brands entering China or Chinese brands expanding to the West, consumers now expect brands to offer more.”
While Florasis pays homage to their Chinese origins and focuses on delivering premium quality products, it is crucial for them to develop a brand story.
Recently, Florasis has been focused on investigating formulas and ingredients—such as Chinese floral extracts, herbs, and medicinal elements—to integrate in their products. Gabby Chen points out that early indications suggest its appeal is much broader than the overseas Chinese diaspora, as most of the brand’s current overseas customers are not constrained to this singular group.
“We have confidence that whoever uses our product will come back again and again…because of the quality…[and] we’re ready for the [international] market,” Chen says.