Staff Reporters
May 30, 2019

92% of Chinese males prefer niche beauty brands: report

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Male shoppers shy away from big-name brands far more than female buyers.

92% of Chinese males prefer niche beauty brands: report

Source: Reuter Communications ‘The New Face of Beauty in China' report, in partnership with ColourData 

Methodology: The research included focus groups, mobile ethnographies, big data analytics and a quantitative online survey covering more than 300 consumers across first-tier cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. 


  • Male Chinese beauty consumers are shifting away from big-name brands towards niche newcomers as they are seeking a more distinct self-expression and individuality that they may find in niche brands.  
  • 92% of Chinese men responded that they prefer niche, and 76% prefer the packaging on niche products compared to the big labels.
  • The longer consumers browse and take in information about beauty brands, the more likely that they end up discovering and exploring niche brands.
  • Since consumers perceive niche brands to spend less on advertising and more on research and development (R&D), these products are considered more specialised and effective.
  • By definition niche brands have a smaller number of users (and consequently fewer online product reviews), fragmented sources of information, and limited sales channels, so friends’ recommendations become the key source of influence.

Other points of note:

  • 86% prefer a holistic in-person experience, so brick & mortar is set to remain a secure channel for beauty brands in the country. Physical retail is a preference due to trust of authenticity, wider variety of choice and the ability for product trial.
  • 85% of those surveyed would pay a premium for brands with organic products/ingredients.
  • Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is now the number one platform for learning about new products and for taking recommendations from beauty bloggers and influencers. Only two years old, the userbase consists of 88% females born after 1980.
See more Top of the Charts


Campaign China

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