AgencyChina’s market insights professionals work hard to help clients stay on top of what’s happening and where things are trending in China’s massive consumer market. Through our Market Research we uncover trends in China and benefit from this knowledge together with our clients.
In previous weeks we’ve talked about the Watch Market, we gave a quick overview of Little Red Book, and much more. Today, we’re opening up some of our recent research to present three female consumer segments currently underserved by both domestic and local brands.
1. Montessori Moms
First up, Montessori Moms. We’ve observed a growing number of highly-affluent first-tier city Moms enthralled with Montessori education – self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.
Montessori education has been gaining traction for a few years and has now become a proper trend in China. It’s rise in China was first profiled in CNN five years ago. Since then, key tenets of Montessori education, such as children learning through play attempting educational tasks without interference, have become increasingly sought-after attributes in children. Typifying this shift is the seeming ubiquity of the Montessori ‘Maroon Book’ in Mother & Baby Stores.
Keen to encourage the connection between their products and learning through curiosity and play, toymakers have taken the lead. LEGO has teamed up with East China Normal University to create LEGO-based “class-kits” that facilitate STEM learning through curiosity, inspiration, hands-on interaction with technology, confidence and fun. These are themes that kidswear brands, entertainment brands and nutrition brands can pay close attention to.
We see significant opportunity for infant formula brands and brands focused on infant and toddler nutrition to better meet the needs of Montessori Moms. To do so, these brands will need to change how they talk about cognitive development, with greater emphasis on imagination, collaboration and temperament.
2. Second-Child Mothers
Every Mom is special, but China’s second-child mothers think they’re just that little bit more special. Our research with Moms preparing to have their second child reveals various concerns about their ability to give birth healthily.
Sometimes, these concerns are based on objectively observable health issues. Other times, they are the result of psychological hang-ups around age and fitness. To illustrate, this is a translated quote from one Mom who we interviewed on a recent assignment in Chengdu:
“The excitement of having a second child was soon overwhelmed by the fear of my body not being able to cope with my age, work responsibilities and duties as a mother of a toddler. “
These concerns call for specialized nutrition and physical conditioning, differentiated from what’s on the market for “EveryMom”. We’re of the view that early-movers in specialized pregnancy milks and supplements could create a new category in China – mature maternal nutrition. Additionally, brands and initiatives focused on the mothers wellbeing and physical fitness can also win with this trend in China.
3. Urban Stressed
Urban life in China’s metropolises comes with a host of pressures. Visible pollution, demanding work, skipped meals and patchy sleep make it tough for China’s urban professionals to maintain diet, exercise, sleep and skincare routines. This forces unwanted compromises to quality-of-life, especially around skin quality and appearance.
To date, we’ve seen skin propositions address prevention (预防), maintenance (维稳) and repair (挽救).
We’re anticipating that prevention and repair propositions will further stratify around stress, leading to niche propositions. For instance, we’re looking forward to prevention and repair solutions that address specific stressors like long-haul travel, sweaty commutes, and intense workloads. The below product from Sunday Riley, which treats puffy eyes from long hours at work, is something we expect to see more of.
Vitamin and antioxidant families that enhance the skin barrier, prevent stress-induced aging and the onset of recurring skin problems will be a defining feature.
Combating urban stress will also transcend outside beauty, to areas of comfort like pillow sprays (pictured below), candles and salves massaged on the temples or behind the ears.
Would you like our team to help you find your Niche Female Target Audience in China through targeted and local Research? Get in touch!