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Fri, Jun 25, 2010
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Waking up to Japanese make-up
by Gwendolyn Ng

LOVERS of Japanese beauty brands, rejoice.

Another big-name skincare brand has hit the shelves as Shiseido released its sub-brand, Aqualabel, on Monday in Tampines Mall.

The brand, touted as the No.1 mass-skincare brand in Japan, has garnered fans from all over Asia, including Singapore, since its release in Japan in February 2006.
The brand – which includes products ranging from moisturising masks to liquid foundation – enjoys such strong demand that Shiseido staff manning the counters at Tampines Mall Atrium said one product was sold every two minutes over eight hours.

Aqualabel isn’t the only sub- brand to hit shops here. Other Japanese brands like Fasio, Kate and Majolica Majorca, under parent brands Kose, Kanebo and Shiseido respectively, have made their debuts in past years, to great response.

Sub-brands refer to products that are positioned differently from their parents’ main ranges, varying in price, distribution channels and image.

For instance, Kose’s Fasio targets young consumers aged from 16 to 25. Its tagline, “Get Active!”, is complemented by its bright orange packaging to project a youthful, sporty image.

Shiseido’s senior manager of self-select business, Ms Jennie Ng, said that such brand extensions help capture a wider spectrum of consumers with their lower price points.

Companies know that beauty junkies are getting more savvy and are looking beyond what’s available on the shelves in shops.

One of the best places to spot a growing fanbase is the Internet.

The decision to bring in Kate in 2004 was made when Kanebo noticed that many Singaporeans were raving about the sub-brand on beauty forums. Many of them wondered when it might be made available here, said a spokesman for the brand.

The brand will be re- launched on a larger scale next month.

Watsons senior marketing manager Irene Lau, said: “There’s strong interest in these brands, and Watsons certainly has plans to bring in more of them.”

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