While over 75 percent of people in countries like the US, Spain, and France use colognes and perfumes daily, as of 2013, only 12 percent of urban Chinese were using fragrances.
In a target group index (TGI) study done by Kantar, it was found that only China’s elite regularly use fragrances. In fact, when considering the variables of income and age, they found that the typical fragrance consumer was much younger and wealthier than the average Chinese citizen.
Kantar also noted that cultural norms are at play in the vast divide between American, European, and Asian perfume, aftershave, and cologne sales. In China, it simply isn’t customary to wear perfume.
The TGI reports that China’s fragrance market has plenty of room to grow though. Their sales are currently being fueled by women 15 to 34 years old—or those who say they “like to keep up with the latest fashions.”
One of the greatest barrier for growth in the fragrance market is that the Chinese are simply too practical. They don’t appear to meet an “existing need of consumers.”
For now, brands are getting creative in order to amp sales through untraditional means. For example, Liu Shen, a Chinese perfume label, has decided to advertise their product’s bug repellant capabilities in order to meet the distinct demands of their consumers.
As more foreign brands enter the market, their advertising campaigns look to appeal to the consumers’ aspirational needs, which could ignite the market.
Brand-name is always a sales draw with Chanel and Avon placing in the top ten for women’s fragrance products, and Coty’s Adidas and P&G’s Hugo Boss for the men.
With half of the adult TGI participants agreeing that— “a designer label improves one’s image”— it seems as though companies held in high esteem could stand to grow considerably.
image credit: chanel