GIRLCULT - An emerging Chinese domestic beauty brand that you should pay attention to

Perfect Diary is definitely one of the most successful cases in China beauty industry, but it’s not the only one. We have shared Judydoll’s case study before. Recently another emerging beauty brand GIRLCULT caught my attention and I think they have some interesting strategies that we should look into.

GIRLCULT is another example of Guochao (国潮 Chinese fashion) brand. It was established only 2 years ago in 2018 and they just finished serie A fund at the end of last year. They mainly sell make up products including eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, highlighter and bronzer. Average price is around RMB 59-139.

GIRLCULT’s Tmall flagship store was opened in Jan. 2019. The sales volume has reached 1 million RMB in a year. In Mar. 2020, it reached the peak - 13 million RMB sales in a month, among which over 52% come from blush products.

GIRLCULT Tmall Flagship Store Sales Percentage of Different Categories in Mar. 2020

Actually blush category is not as big as lipstick or eyeshadow. The total sale volume of blush products is only 23% of eyeshadow. But this category is increasing fast and becoming more mature.

According to Netvoices, over 74% consumers in blush category are post-90s and post-95s, and over 10% are from post-00s.

Consumer Age Group of Blush Category and Make up Category

GIRLCULT has a clear positioning and strategy - mainly focus on Gen Z and push blush products. In Mar. 2020, GIRLCULT ranked No. 3 in blush category, just next to NARS and Judydoll. Yet GIRLCULT’s product price is twice of Judydoll’s.

TOP 10 brands of Blush Category in Mar. 2020

What strategies can we learn from GIRLCULT building a small brand from zero in such a short time and in such a competitive market?

1. Creative packaging and naming strategy

Mood Blush Collection

The paper packaging of GIRLCULT use high-quality paper with vintage and unique design. There is even a seal on the envelope, making you feel like you are opening a delicate gift box.

Besides, each GIRLCULT product name is also unique and very eye-catching. For example, one of the best sellers “Mood Blush Collection” includes shades “Curiosity” (好奇),  “Look on” (吃瓜), “Crush” (着迷), and “Spoil” (溺爱) etc. These names make you want to buy more than one shade to match with different mood, and are easy to remember.

2. Not only products, but also artworks

Mountain & See Collection
David’s Blush

GIRLCULT tells a story for each piece of product. The Utopia Eyeshadow Collection gives you a mysterious fantasy. The Mountain & See Collection was inspired by Chinese mythology stories. Each product is like a piece of artwork that is waiting for you to explore.

GIRLCULT also includes Michelangelo's David when showing the shades of blush - “The blush that makes David shy”. In marketing, GIRLCULT asks KOLs to provide makeup looks like popular movie or TV show figures, such as Mulan, The Wandering Earth, and Love, Death and Robots etc.

3. Interesting crossovers