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Price is important to marketers because it represents marketers' assessment of the value customers see in the product or service and are willing to pay for a product or service.
Adjusting the price has a profound impact on the marketing strategy, and depending on the price elasticity of the product, it will often affect the demand and sales as well.
Pricing contributes to how customers perceive a product or a service

Research Approach and Technique

The main form of the research approach has been identified in form of quantitative research technique. This has been done by analyzing the quantitative using standardized questionnaire. The important aspect of the research approach has been identified in terms of the appropriate way to find out the tendency of men’s skin care products and men’s behavior toward skin care products. It has been further seen that the quantitative approach of the research strategy has put emphasis on the quantification in the collection and analysis of data (Creswell 2014). It has been further identified that the different types of the quantitative research approach has been able to assess the various dimensions for reliability by utilizing tools such as standardized questionnaires. The various aspects of the results for the reliability have been discerned with the incorporation of Cronbach Alpha value. It has been further observed that the various aspects of the reliability have been discerned in form of Cronbach Alpha value of more than 0.6. The various concepts of the research has been further seen in terms of the various concepts of the research has been able to emphasize on the relevant concepts of various types of the quantitative tools used for the study. In addition to this the main research approach of the study is built on the deductive approach. The rationale for considering this method was this approach supported us to confirm and reject all issues that were form base on pervious researches and theories which have been selected for the study (Sekaran and Bougie 2016).

The important consideration made in form of the research philosophy has been identified in form of positivism and realism theories. The rationale for such an approach is due to the highly structure use of the data using survey samples. It has been further seen that the different types of the considerations made for the positivism and the realism theory has been discerned in form of the large sample used for the research study. The measurements of the hypothesis and the addressing the purpose of the report have been further seen in form of the quantitative measures (Mark N K, Philip and Adrian 2015). The various theories leading to the quantifiable observations and the empiricist view that knowledge which stems from human experience. The various types of the ontological and the atomistic views in the stated assumptions of the research study have proved to be conducive for the positivism and realism theories. The various approaches in the research has been further shown with least interest for biasness in the responses given by the participants of the research study and the o provisions for human interests has been incorporated into the study. It has been further seen that the various types of the deductive approach used in the research has been seen to be directly relevant to the positivist studies.

Reliability and Standardization

The realism aspects of the study have been seen with glimpse of the ability to capture the fuller picture when studying a phenomenon. It has been able to put importance on the multi-level approach of the study which has relevance with the realism studies and direct realist approach.

In the present we analyze the survey done to evaluate the popularity of Male Cosmetics in South Korea. We also investigate the factors responsible for the rising popularity of cosmetics in males. Furthermore we try to ascertain how price and product line plays a role in selection of cosmetics. In addition we also investigate the brand loyalty and brand perception of males in selection of cosmetic products. A closed ended questionnaire with 20 questions was prepared. The questionnaire was initially developed as a word document and circulated amongst peers as a pre-check. The pre-check was necessitated as a pilot-study as to the accuracy of the questions. The comments of the peers were noted and necessary adjustments made to the questionnaire.       The final questionnaire was created as a link in Google forms and respondents were asked to fill the questionnaire. The link to the survey can be found at https://goo.gl/forms/tY02YXZg9wuRCDsa2. Since the survey was about the use of cosmetics by males hence the survey was restricted to male South Koreans only. 101 fully filled questionnaires were selected and analyzed.

For the purpose of data analysis we use the frequency percentage of responses. The frequency percentage of valid responses were taken into account to reflect the response. The data analysis was done in SPSS.

The first part of the survey consisted of the demographic profile of the respondents.

Occupation

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Student

23

22.8

22.8

22.8

Student and Employed Part-time

21

20.8

20.8

43.6

Employed

52

51.5

51.5

95.0

Others

5

5.0

5.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 1: Occupation of the respondents

Investigation into the occupation of the respondents reveals that most of the respondents (51.5%) were employed. Students formed 22.8% of the respondents, while students who were part-time employed formed 20.8% of the respondents.  Thus, the analysis shows that most of the respondents in the survey of facial cosmetics for men were employed.  

Age of Respondent

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

16 to 25 years

35

34.7

34.7

34.7

26 to 30 years

53

52.5

52.5

87.1

more than 30 years

13

12.9

12.9

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 2: Age of the respondents

Analysis of the age profile reveals that the bulk of the respondents 52.5% were between the age group of 26 to 30 years. In addition 12.9% of the respondents were over the age of 30 years. Moreover 34.7% of the respondents were between the age group of 16 to 25 years. The analysis of the survey points to the fact why South Korean companies like Etude HouseMisshaNature Republic, and Tony Moly have shifted their attention from not so young men to young men. The analysis also is in conformity with the lead editor Eric Mun’s view, “So you get plus points here if you look younger.”

Deductive Approach

Popularity of facial cosmetics products among men in South Korea?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

54

53.5

53.5

53.5

No

47

46.5

46.5

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 3: Popularity of facial Cosmetics

The survey found that 53.5% of the male respondents knew about the popularity of facial cosmetics. On the contrary only 46.5% of the respondents were ignorant of the popularity of facial cosmetics amongst South Korean men. This is in concurrence with the Economist.com (2017) which has found that there is a growing popularity of Facial Cosmetics in South Koreans. It is this growing use of cosmetics amongst South Koreans that all cosmetic brands have a men’s line of products.

Do you use facial cosmetic products?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

74

73.3

73.3

73.3

No

27

26.7

26.7

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

 Table 4: Use of facial Cosmetics

The survey revealed that 73.7% of South Korean men used facial cosmetics. On the other hand only 26.7% of the men did not use facial cosmetics. The analysis of the survey shows that the use of facial cosmetics amongst South Korean men is very high. Euromonitor.com (2017) showed that there has been a strong growth in the facial cosmetic industry in 2015 as compared to 2014. The excess use of facial cosmetics can be due to the preference of South Korean men to increase their image and thus their willingness to invest in cosmetic products. A longitudinal study would show the growing trend in use of facial cosmetics amongst the men.

Concerns matters

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Brand

25

24.8

24.8

24.8

Price

24

23.8

23.8

48.5

Recommendation from people

13

12.9

12.9

61.4

Quality

19

18.8

18.8

80.2

Capacity

4

4.0

4.0

84.2

Packaging

5

5.0

5.0

89.1

Ingredients

8

7.9

7.9

97.0

Others

3

3.0

3.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 5: Features necessary in choosing facial Cosmetics

According to the analysis of the survey Brand of facial cosmetics is the most sought after   feature while selection of the product. 24.8% of the respondents prefer to look at the Brand of the cosmetic before purchasing of the product. The packaging of the product is the least sought after feature of the cosmetic in the process of selection. The survey found that only 4% of the consumers are concerned about the capacity of the cosmetic. The brand is a representation of the self image of the person. Hence, males purchase cosmetics which are closer to their identity (Mocanu, 2014; Wicklund, 2013). The analysis shows that brand of the facial cosmetic have made men use the products, although Price of the product also a factor in selection of the cosmetic.  

Figure 6: Types of facial Cosmetics used

South Korean men use a variety of facial cosmetic products. Shaving products are the most used facial cosmetics by the respondents. About 47.5% of the respondents regularly purchase shaving products. The second most important product of choice is Skin Care products. 40.6% of the respondents prefer to purchase of skin care products.  The survey also showed that 14.9% of the men in South Korea do use Lipsticks. Thus, it can be said that most South Korean men use Shaving products and Skin Care products.

Positivism and Realism Theories

Most cosmetic used

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Skin Care Products

36

35.6

35.6

35.6

Eye and Facial Make up

20

19.8

19.8

55.4

Colour Contact Lenses

17

16.8

16.8

72.3

Lipsticks

2

2.0

2.0

74.3

Shaving Products

22

21.8

21.8

96.0

Others

4

4.0

4.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 7: Most used facial Cosmetics

The analysis of the survey shows that 35.6% of the respondents (South Korean men) use skin care products as the single most preferred facial cosmetics. 2% of the men prefer to use Lipsticks. The analysis is in concord with Cho (2015) which has shown that South Koreans prefer to use Skin care products to provide attention to their skin. The use of skin care products can prevent them from UV rays of the sun. Thus most of the South Koreans are extremely conscious of the damage to the skin like hyper pigmentation, broken skin. The extensive use of skin care products can also be to increase body attraction and prevent them from ageing.

Ingredients

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Natural ingredients

41

40.6

40.6

40.6

Non-comedogenic ingredients

13

12.9

12.9

53.5

Oil-free ingredients

28

27.7

27.7

81.2

Petroluem-free ingredients

11

10.9

10.9

92.1

Alcohol-free ingredients

6

5.9

5.9

98.0

Dye-free ingredients

2

2.0

2.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 8: Ingredients of Facial Cosmetics

The investigation into the survey found that 40.6% of the men prefer facial cosmetics which have natural ingredients. The second most preferred feature which is looked for in facial cosmetics is oil-free products. Conversely, only 2% of the men search for dye-free ingredients when purchasing a product. The research shows that most of the respondents understand the benefits of natural ingredients (Bowe 2013). 

Side Effects

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

44

43.6

43.6

43.6

No

57

56.4

56.4

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 9: Incidence of Side Effect from facial cosmetics

Analysis of the survey revealed that 56.4% of the male respondents have never suffered any side effects due to the use of cosmetic products. Conversely, 43.6% of the respondents divulged that they have side effect due to the use of cosmetic products.  

Source of Information

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Company Official Website

18

17.8

17.8

17.8

Internet Review

38

37.6

37.6

55.4

People

28

27.7

27.7

83.2

Shop

17

16.8

16.8

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 10: Source of Information of facial Cosmetics

Most South Korean men ascertain facial cosmetics from internet reviews. 37.6% of the respondents have internet reviews as their source of information. The retailer provides information about facial cosmetics to 16.8% of the buyers.  

Reason for using facial cosmetics product

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

To make a better appearance

21

20.8

20.8

20.8

To maintain the skin

31

30.7

30.7

51.5

Self Image

22

21.8

21.8

73.3

For Shaving

21

20.8

20.8

94.1

Cultural Factors

6

5.9

5.9

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 11: Reasons for use of facial Cosmetics

The analysis showed that 30.7% of the men use facial cosmetics to maintain their skin.  On the other hand 5.9% of the men use cosmetics due to cultural factors. The analysis of the survey is contrary to available literatures. Studies on the use of facial cosmetics by South Koreans have shown that most of the men prefer to use cosmetics to improve their self image (Sturrock & Pioch, 1998).  The use of cosmetic products by a small section of the respondents due to cultural factors can also be attributed to the K-POP culture. The survey results can be compared to the report presented by CNN Money (2015). Khuong and Duyen (2016) showed that men use cosmetic products for a variety of reasons. The causes range from health care, body attraction, anti-ageing and creation of self-image. The present analysis is contrary to the research done by Khuong and Duyen (2016). Whereas Khuong and Duyen (2016) showed that the most important factor for use of cosmetics by men in Vietnam is self-image the present analysis shows that they use cosmetics to enhance self-image. 

Demographic Profile of Respondents

Boost Confidence

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

71

70.3

70.3

70.3

No

30

29.7

29.7

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 12: Confidence and facial Cosmetics

An interesting aspect of the survey was that 70.3% of the respondents believed that use of cosmetic products boosts their confidence. On the other hand only 29.7% of male South Koreans think that to boost your confidence cosmetic products are not essential. The analysis of the survey is in agreement with that of [21], which showed that the use of cosmetic products can boost a person’s confidence due to increase of self-image. Thus the increase in use of cosmetic products can help the men in providing a positive image. The survey also agrees with research by Sturrock & Pioch (1998) who showed that men use cosmetic products (grooming products) for developmental and maintenance purposes also. The research shows that the use of facial cosmetics boosts the confidence of men. The analysis is in concord with research done by Paasschen et al. (2015) who showed that everyday grooming  boosts the confidence of persons.

Frequency of Use

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Once

39

38.6

38.6

38.6

2 times

39

38.6

38.6

77.2

3 times

20

19.8

19.8

97.0

More than 3 times

3

3.0

3.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 13: Frequency of use of facial Cosmetics per day

The investigation into the use of facial cosmetics showed that 38.6% of the men use facial cosmetics once or twice a day. On the other hand 3% of the men do use cosmetics more than 3 times a day. From the analysis of the data it can be said that most of the employed people who participated South Korean use Shaving Products regularly.  The investigation also shows that the respondents prefer to use skin care products more than once a day.

Frequency of Purchase

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Once a month

32

31.7

31.7

31.7

2 times a month

39

38.6

38.6

70.3

3 times a month

20

19.8

19.8

90.1

4 times a month

8

7.9

7.9

98.0

More than 4 times a month

2

2.0

2.0

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 14: Frequency of Purchase of Facial Cosmetics per month

The investigation into the purchase behavior shows that 38.6% of the South Korean men buy cosmetics twice a month. The analysis also showed that 2% of the men purchase such products more than 4 times a month. The above survey shows the purchase intentions of South Korean males. The present questionnaire shows that their growing trend of purchase. From an analysis of the present questionnaire we can say 4% of the respondents consume extremely high quantity of cosmetics which is indicated by their purchase frequency(more than 4). 

Spend

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

10000-50000 won

51

50.5

50.5

50.5

60000-100000 won

37

36.6

36.6

87.1

Over 100000 won

13

12.9

12.9

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 15: Spending on facial Cosmetics per month

Regarding the spending behavior of the men the survey found that 50.6% of the men spend around 10000-50000 won per month. The survey also found that 12.9% of the men spend more than 100000 won per month for the purchase of facial cosmetics.  This is in agreement with CNN money (2015) which showed that South Korean Men are spending huge sums of money to purchase facial cosmetics. With the amount of money being spent by South Korean men the industry would surely grow to $1 billion.

Factors in Choosing Facial Cosmetics

Brand

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Korean Brand

39

38.6

38.6

38.6

International Brand

62

61.4

61.4

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 16: Brand preference of Facial Cosmetics

Analysis of the survey shows that 61.4% of the male respondents use international brands of cosmetic products. Moreover 38.6% of the users of cosmetic products use only Korean branded products. This is concurrence with CNN money (2015) which showed the growing popularity of Korean Brands in facial cosmetics. This growing popularity of Korean Brands of cosmetics can be attributed to K-Pop - Korean Pop music and culture. Thus the aggressive marketing strategies of South Korean cosmetic companies is bound to bear good fruits, since they have a large fan following.

Purchase

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Online Website

45

44.6

44.6

44.6

Walk in shopping

56

55.4

55.4

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 17: Purchase behavior of Facial Cosmetics

The survey found that 55.4% of the male respondents purchase cosmetic products from walk in shops. On the contrary only 44.6% of the respondents purchases cosmetic products from online shopping websites. The growing popularity of cosmetic products has led to the products being available online. Literature has shown that LG has created an online website to showcase its “Every Man Is” range of products. The analysis of previous literature the reason behind Olive young setting up an online retail zone in-store. The increased popularity of facial cosmetics in South Korean men is also the reason for the launch of SK-II, Japan’s cosmetic giant.

Do you buy all facial cosmetics products from same retailer?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

53

52.5

52.5

52.5

No

48

47.5

47.5

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 18: Retailer preference for purchase of facial Cosmetics

Regarding the purchase behavior of male’s the survey found that 52.5% of them usually buy facial cosmetics from the same retailer. On the other hand only 47.5% of the respondents keep changing their retailers. The present survey questionnaire shows that majority of the respondents trust their retailers when it comes to purchase of facial cosmetics. This also proves that the advice of the retailer regarding facial cosmetics for the respondents is of high-quality. 

Would you like to try new facial products from new company?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Yes

64

63.4

63.4

63.4

No

37

36.6

36.6

100.0

Total

101

100.0

100.0

Table 19: Experiment new facial products

An interesting expression of the survey found that 63.4% of South Korean men are willing to try out new facial cosmetics, that too from a new company. Conversely only 36.6% of the men are conservative and would not try out new products. The present survey questionnaire proves that South Korean Men are open to experiment in the use of facial cosmetics. Hence the respondents would like to experiment new products to increase their body image.

Conclusion

There has been a phenomenal growth in the male cosmetic industry in South Korea. The survey found that most of the respondents who use facial cosmetics are employed persons in the age group of 26 to 30 years. Most of the people surveyed have prior information regarding the growing popularity of Facial cosmetics. According to the survey brand of the cosmetic products is more important when selecting a product. The second most important characteristic while selecting the product is its price. South Korean men use Shaving products, skin care products as well use contact lenses. Majority of South Koreans use skin care products as the single most important product. South Koreans prefer natural ingredients while selecting a product. The presence or absence of Dye is not a factor while selecting a product. Most of the people surveyed have never had a side-effect due to the use of cosmetic products. The friends of the persons surveyed are the most-important source of information for facial cosmetics. The majority of South Koreans use facial cosmetics to maintain their skin.  The increased use of the products is to boost their confidence. Majority of the respondents prefer to use facial cosmetics only once a day. The survey found that most of the South Koreans spend 10000-50000 won per month on facial cosmetics. Majority of the men surveyed prefer to buy Korean brands of cosmetics from walk-in shopping places. The people surveyed prefer to buy cosmetics from the same retailer. The survey showed that most of the respondents prefer to try out new facial products from new companies.

The present study uses different scales of study for the questionnaire. While some of the questionnaires were to be answered in just in yes and no, the other questions were multiple choice questions. Due to the different scales of the questionnaire the total correlation (reliability analysis) between the variables of study is poor. A better method of study would be to make all the survey questions on same type of Likert scale.

References

Bowe, W.P., 2013. Cosmetic benefits of natural ingredients: mushrooms, feverfew, tea, and wheat complex. Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD, 12(9 Suppl), pp.s133-6.

Cho, C. (2015). The little book of skin care. 1st ed. Harper Collins.

Creswell, J. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th ed. Sage.

Economist.com. (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21679459-how-local-cosmetics-brands-are-getting-under-mens-skin-east-rouge [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Euromonitor.com. (2017). Beauty and Personal Care in South Korea. [online] Available at: https://www.euromonitor.com/beauty-and-personal-care-in-south-korea/report [Accessed 11 Mar. 2017].

Khuong, M.N. and Duyen, H.T.M., 2016. Personal Factors Affecting Consumer Purchase Decision towards Men Skin Care Products--A Study in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 7(2), p.44.

Mark N K, S., Philip, L. and Adrian, T. (2015). Research Methods for Business Students. 7th ed. Pearson Education Limited.

Mocanu, R., 2014. Brand image as a function of self-image and self-brand connection. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 1(3), pp.387-408.

Paasschen, J., Walker, S.C., Phillips, N., Downing, P.E. and Tipper, S.P., 2015. The effect of personal grooming on self?perceived body image. International journal of cosmetic science, 37(1), pp.108-115.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R. (2016). Research methods for business. 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons.

Wicklund, R. (2013). Symbolic Self Completion. 1st ed. Routledge.

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