Consumers and their Brands

Understanding the relationship in China and Japan

Javier Calvar
Research International, China

Goutam Mitra
Client Service Department, Research International, Japan


In a time when there is very little to differentiate between brands based on performance, performance in the cosmetics market can be regarded as a hygiene factor. Products are expected to perform to a certain standard regardless of the brand, and therefore what sets brands apart are the emotional associations established with consumers. Consequently, at the heart of any successful brand lie the functional and emotional needs the brand is trying to fulfill. Such brands are built around benefits that fulfill both types of needs.

Brands also have a personality, which is projected through all sorts of marketing communications. The various communication elements (such as the mood or tone of the advertising, the media used, the shape and design of the packaging, the retail channels used and so on) must be aligned with the overall architecture of the brand defined along the lines of the benefits mentioned above.