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  • Writer's pictureAkina Wong

【Deep Insight】The secrets behind glaring products: What are the killer moves for Nivea's lip balm-bu

Get up early, brush your teeth, wash your face, apply sunscreen, then apply lip balm...

Such a daily routine has become necessary for delicate beauties. As people’s living standard improves, and with the pursue for "beauty and health", lip balm has transformed from a lip product that merely tackles dry and cracked lips, to a miscellaneous product that fulfils diverse needs. Examples include colour lip balm, UV protective lip balm, moisturizing lip balm, treatment products for cheilitis, repair lip balm...Lip balm has also evolved into many kinds of products such as lip oil, lip mask, lip mud and so on.

As a must-have product, there are numerous choices of lipsticks in the market. Just type “lip balm” and click search on a famous shopping website, you could see the highest sales volume has reached 2.7 thousand. While the numbers of the top ten sales volumes are also eye-catching, which are all over one thousand.

Among the top tier of lipstick products, except the famous brand Mentholatum, many domestic brands have also launched lip products that win consumers' favour. Their reasonable prices and edgy designs have attracted many young consumers.

Although the lipstick market is vast, the rising star of domestic brands and other well-known brands keep developing new products and releasing new marketing plans, making this market highly competitive. Recently, the hot topic #MINO X NIVEA# released by the famous skincare brand Nivea on Weibo has caught netizens’ eyes. Many people checked in the lipstick they bought under the heated discussion. Why? The answer is the crossover between Nivea and SONG MIN HO from the Korean group WINNER!

What is going on with the crossover between brands and celebrities?

[A 110-year old brand: The history of NIVEA]

The name NIVEA is inspired by the Latin word “niveus, -a, -um”, which literally means “snow white”. The company is founded by Beiersdorf in 1911.

Since its launch, the company's business philosophy of “research, innovation, and pursuit of high quality” has helped the company to build a solid foundation for its research and development.

In December 1911, the world's first long-lasting moisturizer made its debut, which is NIVEA Creme. The light blue tin packaging aligned with the mainstream view towards women's skincare products at that time: delicate, white and fragrant.

In the 1930s, NIVEA launched a special tanning cream in order to strengthen the concept of outdoor entertainment skin cream. With both skincare and tanning effects, this product was soon approved. The smart NIVEA even used a weather calendar to provide consumers with the weather conditions in the next two weeks.

In August 2003, Bloomberg Businessweek announced the latest 100 most valuable brands in the world, and NIVEA ranked 92nd.

On June 8, 1994, NIVEA (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. was established. Since entering the Chinese market, it has gained a large number of loyal consumers.

[Cross-border crossovers: consumers “willing to pay for novelty and love”]

There have been numerous examples of brand crossovers in the past, and there were almost no “losing battles”:

NetEase, Inc.✖️ “A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains” by The Forbidden City, which was a stunning crossover. The combination of games and paintings constituted the stunning and story-telling “Miaobi Jiangshan”, providing both aesthetic and sense of high quality, hence had a great vogue by players.

RIO ✖️Hero’s ink is known as the boldest crossover in history. After the Florida water flavoured cocktails launched by RIO and Liushen Florida water in 2018 were snapped up, in the following year, RIO boldly chose the “weird track”: collaborating with Shanghai classic old stationery brand Hero to produce the RIO ink cocktail.

Ink-flavoured cocktails sound novel, even many folks who do not like to drink were willing to buy one to have a try.

Apart from that, some brands use celebrities ➕ cross-border to have a double crossover, and with the help of the influence of “fanquan” to make a big hit:

The well-known sports brand NIKE and G-Dragon have launched the PMO × Nike AF1 daisy sneakers, and later launching the white version. The shoebox, shoe body and tongue are printed with the logo of G-Dragon album. Keywords like “limited edition” “crossover” and “GD” made those sneakers sold out immediately, leaving countless sneaker enthusiasts using different ways to seek their dream sneakers.

Oreo and Jay Chou joined forces to launch the “Eat and Sing” lyrics version. Such a “double popularity” marketing strategy was a heavy punch, this crossover led to the soar of Oreo's domestic sales.

Cross-border collisions in different fields are more likely to arouse the interest of consumers. Many consumers said: “If there is a celebrity or a topic that you like or interested in, you are willing to pay for it.”

[NIVEA’s hardcore fans, Song Min Ho personally designed the lipstick body]

NIVEA co-branded a men's facial cleanser with Arena of valor in 2019, and it received good feedback. This year, NIVEA has launched a lipstick co-branded with Song Min Ho, a member of the men's group WINNER.

Before the official announcement and the crossover, Song Min Ho was already a hardcore fan of NIVEA’s lipstick, and his favourite was their cherry-flavoured lipstick. This is obviously the best olive branch for the brand. NIVEA invited mono to participate in the design of the 2020 limited edition N- Creator products, seems like it was going both ways.

This crossover is undoubtedly a win-win situation: with the help of celebrity with devoted fan bases, the brand can enter the fan group directly and open the young market. Song Min Ho can gain popularity and attract more fans because of NIVEA’s domestic publicity as well as a large consumer base.

Inevitably, the era of independent creation of brands is over. Only by increasing interactions with consumers, understanding consumers’ attitude, tying the brand with celebrity images, using strength and quality to attract more consumers, is the only way to achieve the highest value of crossover.


On the Xiaohongshu platform, the brand has almost no publicity, but Mino amateur posts shared the pictures and ways of purchase of the crossover lipstick. The number of total content was 3, and the total interaction volume has reached 48 times.


NIVEA’s official account, fans of Mino and its fan accounts all posted blogs to promote the crossover lipstick. The 151 KOL advertisements were mostly links to Mino’s vlog, and pictures of Mino and the lipstick. Four-fifths of them are Key Opinion Consumers, with a total of 38,739 likes, a total of 49,215 interactions, and a media value of 49,215.


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