Which C-beauty player outperformed global brands fivefold in media value?

    C-beauty brands are dominating online conversation thanks to their shrewd marketing tactics and KOL collaborations. What can global brands learn?
    Image: Winona’s Weibo
      Published   in Beauty

    This month, there was a significant shakeup in WeArisma’s Beauty Leaderboards tracker*, which assesses brands’ performance on Chinese social platforms.

    From April 1 to 22, Clinique, Shiseido, and Fenty Beauty secured the top three spots on the ranking of international brands, surpassing beauty stalwarts Nars and La Mer.

    However, none of the global players particularly stood out this month. Clinique and Shiseido achieved media values (MV) just slightly above $600,000, while Fenty Beauty closely trailed at $389,700 in MV, followed by Sisley at $386,600 and Nars at $378,000.

    In contrast, Chinese competitors generated significantly higher media values, with the top C-beauty label surpassing $2.5 million.

    The top international beauty brands in China based on media value. Image: WeArisma
    The top international beauty brands in China based on media value. Image: WeArisma

    Clinique ($640,900 MV)#

    This month, Clinique gained significant traction, partially thanks to Chinese influencer Si Tong (@思潼是辣妈), who has 4.9 million followers on Douyin, mentioning the brand.

    Si Tong shared a popular short video where she detailed her experiences as a new mom, addressing appearance-related concerns post-pregnancy. She recommended Clinique’s CL302 serum to combat post-pregnancy dark spots, emphasizing the importance of mothers caring for themselves while balancing childcare responsibilities.

    Her video helped Clinique achieve the top media value of $640,900 among international brands. These impressive results highlight the importance of leveraging local KOLs to boost brand visibility and credibility in China.

    Shiseido ($602,600 MV)#

    Shiseido’s presence in China soared this month, reaching a noteworthy media value of $602,600. This was fueled by an impactful post from Nationals Task Assistant (@全民任务小助手), Douyin’s official third-party advertising release platform, which has a reach of 20.4 million.

    This account regularly releases tasks from merchants for users to engage with and earn rewards. For instance, Shiseido tasked Douyin users with liking, commenting, saving, and sharing the “small needle tube eye cream” (#小针管眼霜) topic page. Participants stood a chance to receive Shiseido’s “flying box” — a virtual gift containing brand rewards.

    The video amassed a staggering media value of $572,400. As Shiseido’s success this month exemplifies, a singular mention by a relevant, influential source can have a significant impact on reach and engagement.

    Shiseido’s Douyin flying box. Image: Shiesido
    Shiseido’s Douyin flying box. Image: Shiesido

    Fenty Beauty ($389,700 MV)#

    Fenty Beauty’s entry into China through the major beauty retailer Sephora sparked significant online buzz, resulting in a media value of $389,700 this month.

    Among the numerous posts featuring Fenty Beauty, the brand was mentioned by the official Sephora account on Douyin (@丝芙兰SEPHORA), announcing the arrival of Fenty Beauty in Sephora stores to its 3.2 million followers. The news garnered a media value of $88,600, boosting online discussion.

    It’s crucial for brands to ensure visibility when entering a market and point them towards the right retailers and shopping channels.


    For the second consecutive month, C-beauty brands outperformed their international counterparts. Notably, the top three brands are currently promoting their sunscreen products in anticipation of the summer season.

    From April 1 to 22, Winona dominated WeArisma’s Local Beauty Leaderboard with an impressive media value of $2.5 million, five times higher than Clinique. Proya secured the second position with a $1.5 million MV, followed by newcomer Meifubao at $1.2 million. Aupres and Chando claimed the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

    The top local beauty brands in China and their communities across social media. Image: WeArisma
    The top local beauty brands in China and their communities across social media. Image: WeArisma

    Winona ($2.5 million MV)#

    Winona ascended to the top, rising from fourth place last month. A significant contributor to its success was an endorsement from blogger @yuantuma (@原图妈), who boasts 10.9 million followers on Weibo.

    She seamlessly integrated Winona into her content, specifically highlighting the effectiveness of Winona’s acne cleansing mask. Additionally, she praised the value proposition of the Winona Clear Sunscreen, emphasizing the benefits of purchasing a larger size for better value.

    This authentic approach resonated with her followers as she shared helpful advice and money-saving tips, ultimately boosting Winona’s share of voice and solidifying its position in the market.

    Winona’s focus on sensitive-skin-friendly ingredients and formulas aligns well with current beauty trends in China.

    Proya ($1.5 million MV)#

    Proya emerged as a standout brand this month, with blogger @yuantuma (@原图妈) playing a key role in its success.

    Throughout the month, she featured Proya products in 11 pieces of content, generating a remarkable total media value of $862,900 for the brand. This included Proya’s Cloud Sunscreen and Ruby Water Essence Cream.

    As a major Weibo influencer, @原图妈, who also supported Winona this month, has demonstrated her ability to bolster brand awareness in the Chinese market. Her engaged follower base and consistent posting frequency have been instrumental in her success.

    As shared in a previous Jing Daily article, Proya is skilled at tapping emerging influencers and customizing content to maximize its exposure and sales turnover.

    Meifubao ($1.2 million MV)#

    Meifubao entered the ranking for the first time in April. The brand received a significant mention from Chinese actor Jia Nailiang (贾乃亮), who commands 40.1 million followers on Douyin.

    In a Douyin video, Jia featured Meifubao’s sunscreen, generating an impressive media value of $1.1 million. The video deviated from the typical beauty endorsement format, taking on a humorous skit-like approach.

    It’s interesting to observe how local Chinese beauty brands are exploring new and innovative ways to showcase their products.

    * Jing Daily’s monthly Beauty Leaderboards tracker analyzes the media value and social media buzz of beauty brands across Chinese social media platforms. Data provided by analytics company WeArisma can help brands measure and optimize their earned media and influencer marketing ROI.

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