From BB Cream to Magic Cushion, Pioneer of Korean cosmetics Brand MISSHA Return to the Helm

More than a decade ago, a brand-new BB cream wearing red package (MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream) suddenly rose in the highly competitive market of foundation. It became a must-have in many girls’ makeup bags with its unique formula, excellent makeup effect and high cost performance. With the continuous evolution of the market, this BB cream gradually faded out from foundation sector.

From BB Cream to Magic Cushion, Du Yuzhuo will Bring the Pioneer of Korean Cosmetics Brand MISSHA to a Well Success

More than a decade ago, a brand-new BB cream wearing red package (MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream) suddenly rose in the highly competitive market of foundation. It became a must-have in many girls’ makeup bags with its unique formula, excellent makeup effect and high cost performance. With the continuous evolution of the market, this BB cream gradually faded out from foundation sector. The “successor” of MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream, the MISSHA Magic Cushion Moisture, has made a comeback in 2021. MISSHA, the pioneer of Korean cosmetics which has taken root in the Chinese market for more than 16 years, finally managed to return to people’s sight again. “It is the outstanding formula that allows MISSHA’s foundation series a strong universal adaptability. Furthermore, we will bring more new products to our consumers while improving the user experience in the future.” said Ms. Du Yuzhuo, General Manager of Shanghai Ai Bo Xin Cosmetics Trading Company.

A Tough War without Smoke

Many people born in the 1980s and 1990s are familiar with the brand MISSHA. “Many people’s first BB cream is MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream which is user-friendly and reasonably priced. It is no exaggeration to say that the launch of this product is actually a landmark for the whole BB cream market,” said Du Yuzhuo, “And that’s why MISSHA would seem a little overwhelmed when the BB cream products began to lose its competitiveness in the market now.”

In the heyday of Korean cosmetics in those years, MISSHA, which taken the route of mass consumption, enjoyed much dividends. MISSHA’s store scattered everywhere—from first-tier and second-tier cities to five-tier and six-tier cities. However, MISSHA encountered more challenges as consumption in offline channel gradually shift to online shopping and consumers’ preference undergoes changes. Just like what Ms. Du Yuzhuo said: “MISSHA has established its brand recognition, but it also needs to tackle problems relating to stereotyped analysis of the consumers’ features and outdated products and so forth. What we tend to do is to re-energize the brand and gain a firm foothold in the fierce market competition.”

But it is not easy to revitalize MISSHA in a short time. “We collected and analyzed a very large amount of data to identify the key elements that once connected MISSHA with the consumers. We hope to evoke people’s memories and establish an emotional connection between the brand and the consumers.”

The MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream is the key point in this idea. After a series of consumer surveys and big data analysis, we successfully gave MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream a “successor”——the MISSHA Magic Cushion Moisture. This product, which was supposed to be in line with the habits of today’s young consumers, was made bundling sale with MISSHA Perfect Cover B.B Cream when it was first launched. “The idea was that this set of products could meet the needs of consumers in different scenarios, for example, they could use the BB Cream at home and a portable air cushion could be carried around for easy retouching.” But it is unexpected that this ideal match didn’t sell well. Although feeling confused and disappointed, Du Yuzhuo seriously reviewed in the situation. After further research on various consumer characteristics, she plunged into the preparation of a tough war without smoke.

“What exactly do these young consumers growing up in the new consumer market like? What do they need and what will they be influenced by? In fact, these questions all require to be carefully studied by. Only when we truly match the brand assets with the new consumer groups can we see a second spring of mystery fashion. ”

A Data-driven Iteration

After determining the development direction of MISSHA, Du Yuzhuo led the team to conduct effective and strategic transformation. Once being a product manager of a Korean cosmetics brand and the director of operations in beauty-related department in Tmall, Du has a deep understanding on big data of brand expansion in the future. She thinks that “big data could often surprise us by contributing a brand to growing continuously with key time points and key events”.

In September last year, MISSHA reached a strategic agreement with Lily&Beauty, a well-known online retail service provider in China, to exercise in-depth cooperation simultaneously. Du Yuzhuo said: “We need a partner who can breathe and grow with our brand. Changes in consumption patterns brought a series of market revolution. We will put priority on the online channels, streaming media marketing, and word-of-mouth communication. Moreover, MISSHA will further expand its product categories on the basis of consolidating and improving its overwhelming products. We also need to introduce more new products to meet the needs of today’s young consumers’ needs and make our brand become an indispensable part in their lives.”

With a full understanding on the development, dilemma and changes of Korean cosmetics brands, Du Yuzhuo knew that they were facing a real tough battle. However, she is such a woman enjoying challenges by nature that she was looking forward to it. During last year’s Double 11(Chinese Shopping Carnival), MISSHA only maintained a slight growth in sales due to its failure of matching existing products up consumers’ needs. But just a few months later, MISSHA not only launched MISSHA Magic Cushion Moisture which meets the current consumer habits but also became a bestseller among affordable BB Cream brands in this year’s Tmall campaign on June 18. What surprises us most is that this achievement was obtained without relying on the head live streaming channel at all.

“We did a profound review after last year’s Double 11(Chinese Shopping Carnival) and conducted a deep analysis from multiple perspectives such as consumer profiles, product price, using habits, and communication channels. After that, we decided on the strategy we are executing now. In fact, before the campaign on June 18th, the conversion rate in many of our channels had already exceeded 40%. So we were actually not very surprised by the results achieved in the campaign.” said Du Yuzhuo.

Just over 4 months later, MISSHA ushered in another hard war—the Tmall Double 11(Chinese Shopping Carnival). Unlike in the past, MISSHA implemented the strategy of “reducing products” in this year’s Double 11, which emphasized the rule of “less is more” to attract consumers. “We also adjusted the product price and discount policies to further segment the products according to the characteristics of targeted consumers. It turned out that we made the right choice.” The pre-sale, additional purchase and the TOP1 place in the hot-selling list have made people see the leap of MISSHA. What is more interesting is that the sales of MISSHA’s products soared again after Double 11. Even Du Yuzhuo herself felt a little surprised on such a performance, “I thought that the Double 11 had brought us the most consumers. I didn’t expect our Magic Cushion Moisture to sell over 60,000 units after its debut in Taobao Top living streaming with a turnover of over 5 million yuan.”

In the opinion of this senior manager with rich experience in the beauty industry, the reason why MISSHA can regain its prosperity in the fierce competition market lies not only in its excellent quality but also in the refined operation based on industry in-depth research and big data analysis, and the marketing ability to promote popular products from scratch. “Times keeps changing. The so-called ‘traffic dividend’ is no longer applicable to the current market. So how can we really find the right way to communicate with our targeted audiences? That requires our understanding, knowledge and in-depth thinking of our brand. In this regard, Lily&Beauty does give us much new inspiration and direction.”

With the continuous upgrading of the market, the traditional marketing methods have failed to keep pace with young consumers. Upgraded marketing model combined with smart devices gradually become mainstream. “Now, we not only have to face the consumers of Generation Z but also need to communicate with the consumers of Generation α who tend to have more rational consumption. They are more willing to choose those products that are suitable for them with high performance-price ratio, which brings more opportunities for the further development of many beauty brands focusing on mass consumption.”

“In Europe and the United States, mass beauty brands met the needs of young consumers who pursue new and innovative products in many situations. We believe that this will also be one of the trends in the developing Chinese beauty market. Now, mass beauty brands should put more effort in building their own brand identity and their overwhelming products. At the same time, with the help of elaborate management and marketing methods, they should revitalize resources and channels online and offline simultaneously in order to win market share in an era when new and prominent products keep emerging.” said Du Yuzhuo



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