Seven of the top ten brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty | Korea are domestic brands, so it was no surprise that Genius brand Etude House took the top spot. Launched in 2005, the Amore Pacific-owned brand started expanding beyond Korea in Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines. In 2010, it had 100 locations worldwide. Now, the brand is being touted as a Korean “beauty secret” by prestigious blogs such as Into The Gloss and Refinery29.
At the core of Etude House’s success is an understanding of the consumer. Seventy-four percent of Koreans use social media, and Etude House has managed to create a following across five global and local social media platforms. It has the largest fan base on Facebook (555,407 followers) and the most YouTube views among Korean brand channels. Korea’s mobile penetration rate is 106% and 55% of Koreans are expected to make a purchase on their mobile phone in 2014. Etude House is one of the few (less than half of) brands in the study to enable mobile commerce on the brand site. It has also developed a social commerce platform with gamification, and is the only beauty brand to offer an Android app in the Naver store.