Korea skin care brand Laneige was identified as one of the fastest-growing brands in China in L2’s Insight Report on the Rise of Korean Brands in China. Laneige’s growth strategy is anchored on content, with superior performance on WeChat and Youku. Laneige posts garner roughly 7x and 3x the views of the average brand in L2’s China Beauty Index, on WeChat and Youku respectively.
On Youku, Laneige created the most-viewed video by a non-Western brand: a piece of its Fashion in Seoul campaign tallying two million views. Laneige cleverly crosspromoted its WeChat presence in the Youku clip by featuring a protagonist using the messaging service. On WeChat, Laneige amplifies its product placement investment in the Korean drama “Descendants of the Sun.” Star of the drama Song Hye Kyo has been the brand’s spokesmodel since 2008, giving Laneige the opportunity to reach 440 million viewers in China with an appearance in the series. The two-tone lip bar placed in the show has flown off the shelves since.
China is not the only non-Korea market Laneige has its eyes on. The brand has made an extensive push in the U.S. market, appearing in the premium skincare section of Target and on beauty blogs that are starting to discover Korean beauty rituals and brands. However, Laneige’s content has a much weaker stance in the U.S. – especially on YouTube. The brand YouTube channel had just over a thousand subscribers, and the most popular video (Laneige BB Cushion SPF 50+) had just over 44,000. Many of the videos promoted on the channel were more than two years old, hiding more recent productions and suggesting a need for a stronger content foothold in the U.S.