Newly-launched brand Stimmung began selling their Millennial-targeted ‘fast’ cosmetics in South Korea in April and have already moved up to 300,000 units. In Japan, they’ve been selling their wares through their official site as of October 21st. The reason for their swift sales is that each of their products comes in just one color and texture variation and is uniquely packed in small pouches that make it affordable and easy to consume without waste. This meets the needs of today’s savvy consumers who constantly crave something new.
Fast beauty — not to be confused with fast fashion — is becoming a trend in South Korea. Originally, fast beauty has been strongly associated with brands that push low prices above all else, however, Stimmung is putting a more positive spin on the concept by giving it a trendier and more tasteful edge.
The brand name “Stimmung” is a German word meaning a person’s mood, spirit or humor. The name reflects the company’s concept of keeping up with today’s consumers, whose preferences and moods can change rapidly, in order to always offer products that are rich in variety.
Each of the 40 different color variations of their lipsticks, eyeshadows and base colors come in a thin plastic pouch roughly the size of an iPhone and are sold for 3,500 won (US$3.2) through their online store. Stimmung’s spin is that 10 of these pouches can be bought for the price of one regular lipstick. Indeed, these pouches have proven to be so popular that they sell out almost instantaneously each time a new batch becomes available. Already, over 300,000 units have been sold and mainly to the demographic of younger women. The popularity is largely down to the product’s reduced volume meant for no more than a week-long usage, its compact size that fits easily in a small bag, its suitability for traveling, and how it allows users to easily try out new colors without breaking the bank. Stimmung has said that within 2019 they plan to increase the number of color variations to over 100.
Stimmung also has a clear direction for their brand: allowing customers to use a variety of products. By adopting a spout pouch for their packaging — a low-cost idea which was until recently unheard of in the industry — they could imbue their product with a certain trendiness and sense of design while also keeping the price low.
Stimmung taut both their abundant assortment of colors and level of quality on a par with more established brands as their main competitive strengths. In an interview with Vogue Korea, a representative of the company stated that “to be honest, there’s no reason why cosmetics should be so expensive. Purchasing a lipstick for 50,000 won (US$46) and using it for well over a year or two is not only unhygienic but, if anything, you’re going to get sick of it. Recently, what’s trendy in makeup styles and colors tends to change on a daily basis, but if the products are expensive you can’t just try them out so frequently. As a solution to this, Stimmung presents (customers) a fresh, new experience.”
Stimmung’s concept of fast beauty, with all products sold in small pouches at a uniform price, allows not only the convenience of being able to try out a variety of colors and keep them in your bag without the bulkiness, but it also contributes to today’s sustainability needs by encouraging using up the product’s full volume — or in other words, it emphasizes a more economical usage of plastic.
In Japan, Stimmung has begun selling their products online through the agency of Health Beauty Lab Co., Ltd. Under the hashtag #higawariKosume (or “cosmetics of the day”), they’re promoting a range of 44 colors available each at 500 yen (US$4.6).
In the South Korean industry, Lotte Corporation’s health and beauty store chain LOHB’s has increased the number of fast beauty brands they handle by 16.7% since 2018. Due to this, their makeup-related sales for the first quarter of 2019 raised by 16% compared to the same period last year. Also, in response to the demand for mini-sized cosmetics, LOHB’s is working on reducing the volume of some of their larger-sized products. It looks as though the move towards making cosmetics smaller and better suited to fast consumption is set to continue from here on.
Text: Ching Li Tor
Original text (Japanese): Jonggi HA