China: A New World of Possibilities

Category: Skincare System
Methods: Time-Extended™ Online Focus Groups, Global Research, Research in China

Qualitative Research


A multinational personal-care products manufacturer was interested in expanding its skincare business in China and wanted to identify the unique needs and applications to deliver a pipeline of skincare products specially designed for Asian consumers.

Strategic Issues

As one of the largest emerging markets, China has had rapid economic growth in the past few years, and it has become a very attractive and lucrative market with great potential for new endeavors and foreign investors. Like most modern women from all over the world, Chinese women are becoming more and more interested in personal-care and beauty products and concerned with keeping their skin’s youthful appearance and overall healthy look. The Chinese are known for their natural approach to life and physical and mental health; ancient skincare secrets contain natural ingredients found all around them. Although China is embracing the modern world, being “natural” is a way of living for them, and this is reflected in their daily routines and consumables. The use of natural ingredients in products inspires confidence in the products’ effectiveness and the products likely success.

Research Objectives

The primary objective was to assess the credibility of the concepts that had been developed and the market potential for new skincare products in China. The purpose of the research was to identify key differences and similarities between performing in-home beauty treatments on their own, compared to receiving beauty treatments at a salon with professional staff.

Research Design and Methods

Decision Analyst had previously conducted a qualitative study for this client. After results had been analyzed, the client asked Decision Analyst to explore and strengthen propositions taken forward from the previous research, to redefine and strengthen those propositions, and to make strong links between identified unmet needs and propositions. In addition, Decision Analyst helped to identify the new products’ benefits and credibility, as well as pinpointed ways to increase the appeal and believability of the concepts.

The research was conducted with the Time-Extended™ online methodology, which allowed for the gathering of in-depth reactions from target consumers living throughout the world at the most convenient times for the consumers. Decision Analyst’s experience developing and using online forums, along with its worldwide panel of 7+ million consumers, made this a feasible and effective methodology. Decision Analyst recruited and invited participants living in two major and affluent tier-one cities in China to participate in the forums. The study included a total of six forums divided into three segments based on age, income, and skin type. The discussions were conducted in the participants’ native language (Simplified Chinese).


Overall, the discussions revealed that the concepts were viewed positively and indicated a probability of success. The respondents believed the concepts would help them achieve salon-quality results while performing skincare treatments in their home, and they expressed a universal need for the concepts. The research results indicated which concepts resonated most with the respondents and thus warranted further development. Decision Analyst recommended modifications to winning concepts based on elements that were seen positively and elements that were seen negatively. The results pointed the client’s new product development team in a direction that would enable the manufacturer to expand its skincare business in China.

Analytical Consulting Services

If you would like more information on our Analytical Consulting Services or would like to discuss a possible project, please contact Clay Dethloff, Senior Vice President of Qualitative Research, (, or Bonnie Janzen, President (, or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.