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#63726 - 23 Oct 07 11:58 JP/Cosmetics companies feel pinch as ladies tighten purse strings
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Cosmetics companies feel pinch as ladies tighten purse strings

Debnath Guharoy, Consultant

Blessed with many friends in this country, my own experience tells me that Indonesian women have a distinctive ability to turn on the charm, changing situations and altering outcomes with a smile, a look and the unsaid word.

That's not a generalization, even if it sounds like one. It's an opinion, offered despite the inherent risks in expressing it.

Though globalization in all its forms is seeking to create common markets and international standards, the universal "look" for women will have to blend with trace elements of local traditions in distinct cultures like Indonesia.

As more and more Indonesian women join the workforce and housewives lead fuller lives than before, the beauty industry will continue to grow, to the benefit of both local and international products. The wider industry, including everyday beauty products like moisturizers and toners, is indeed growing steadily.

But the more cosmetic category comprising discretionary products such as eyeliner, nail polish and lipstick has lost frequent users by the millions since the good times preceding the fuel hikes of 2005.

Cosmetic brands catering to Indonesia's rich may not have felt the pinch, but Indonesia's middle and lower income groups have felt compelled to squeeze more out of their household budgets.

At the end of 2005, there were more than 30 million people who had bought beauty products in the last six months, growing to more than 36 million by June 2007.

Conversely, there were more than 35 million people at the end of 2005 who had purchased a cosmetic in the last four weeks, declining to around 28 million as at June 2007. Not surprisingly, almost all of the buyers are women.

Of the 35 million buyers of beauty products, 51 percent are housewives. They are followed by career women at 28 percent with students contributing 10 percent of the consumer universe.

Half of these consumers, some 18 million women, are residents of rural Indonesia followed by 8 million consumers from the top 20 cities and the remaining from smaller cities and towns around the country.

What may come as a surprise to many is that 53 percent of the buyers are from Indonesia's lower classes, followed by 43 percent from the middle class and 4 percent from the top end of society. To state the obvious, brands, frequency of purchase and usage will vary, regardless of socio-economic circumstances, but influenced also by personal choice and varying priorities.

Excluding housewives, only 7 percent of the buyers earn more than Rp 1 million per month themselves. No wonder value-for-money is the most desired feature of a beauty product, from the buyer's perspective.

These observations are based on the measurement of facts garnered from the marketplace by Roy Morgan Single Source, the country's largest syndicated survey with more than 27,000 Indonesian respondents annually, projected to reflect 90 percent of the population over the age of 14.

That is a universe of 140 million people. The results are updated every 90 days and used by more marketers, media and creative agencies than any other syndicated survey.

Other than price, "gentleness" is the most desired facet that consumers look for in their beauty products. Yet, it's not often that this product characteristic gets due importance in the promotion of cosmetics.

While the degree of importance varies from facial foam to nail polish, it is a constant desire across all cosmetic products.

Next, is "proven benefits". This is a consumer expectation that Procter & Gamble recognized earlier and exploited perhaps more effectively than any other manufacturer, in product category after category.

Though fourth in importance in the minds of most buyers, perceptions of "quality" will always remain a key expectation of anything that anyone applies on her face.

In many ways, it is the sum total of other important facets like "packaging", "reputation" and "recommended" by professionals, friends and family.

About 60 percent of all buyers of cosmetics believe that "it is important to look fashionable", with percentages growing among younger women. That's true also of the 50 percent who "try to look stylish" and the 40 percent who "wear clothes that will get me noticed".

With the growing numbers of women increasingly interested in their appearance, the long-term future for the beauty and cosmetics industry in Indonesia looks rosy, for local and multinational brands alike.

If each builds on their core competence without masquerading as what they are not, "global" and "traditional" will continue to grow side by side. -- The writer can be contacted at Debnath.Guharoy@roymorgan.com
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Jawawa.net: Indonesian Business and Investment News Aggregator

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#63733 - 23 Oct 07 13:17 Re: JP/Cosmetics companies feel pinch as ladies tighten purse strings [Re: KuKuKaChu]
Dilli Offline
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Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Why do women wear make up and perfume?
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#63735 - 23 Oct 07 13:30 Re: JP/Cosmetics companies feel pinch as ladies tighten purse strings [Re: Dilli]
chewwyUK Offline
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Registered: 14 Sep 06
Posts: 2392
Loc: Jakarta
because they are ugly and they smell ... boom boom !
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Edited by Piss Salon
Edit Reason: taste

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#63736 - 23 Oct 07 13:38 Re: JP/Cosmetics companies feel pinch as ladies tighten purse strings [Re: chewwyUK]
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
I knew you would bite at that one!
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