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Synergistic Co-operations in the Cosmetic Industry: Learning and Convergence between Firms and Social Media

Yeon W. Lee


Hallyu’s creative content, in the form of dramas, music, and movies, has not only expanded and popularized Korean beauty (or K-beauty) products, but has also helped sell Korean fashion and aesthetics throughout the world. This study examines the various success factors behind K-beauty’s competitiveness particularly by emphasizing the interactive roles of creative content, cosmetic firms, and make-up artists working through their vlogs based on social media and the resultant convergence effects—which has propelled the rapid growth of the K-beauty industry. On top of the cosmetic firms that utilize diverse and effective strategies to penetrate the global market, professional and semi professional make-up artists have helped spread K-beauty beyond product sales. They offer make-up lessons on social media, which has become enormously successful in spreading Korean-style cosmetics. In this paper, the cooperation between popular beauty vloggers and firms is explained through the new role of social media. This study explains how the convergence of firms and vloggers has connected and established a business ecosystem that generates synergy through the four co-operations of co-existence, co-learning, co-creation, and co-evolution.


convergence; co-operation; Hallyu; K-beauty; learning; social media; synergy creation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2019.03212