CASE STUDY: Shiseido
How a global brand found PMF
In 2017, Shiseido launched a beauty app that delivered customized makeup. But customers weren’t buying, & Shiseido didn’t know why.
Using Game Thinking, the team at Shiseido’s Innovation Lab was able to identify the problem, fix the onboarding & purchase flow, & improve sales. Once the app took off, these innovation methods were adopted throughout Shiseido America.
Bring Startup Smarts into a Large Company
Made2Fit is advanced technology for creating custom foundation, based on photos of your skin. Invented by two serial entrepreneurs, the fledgling startup was purchased by the makeup giant Shiseido to complement their brands.
Once they settled in, the Made2Fit team started integrating their cutting-edge tech with Shiseido’s brand strategy. And… they discovered some challenges.
The existing brand teams weren’t familiar with the realities of tuning & iterating a digital app. And when their initial partnership launch had problems, they weren’t sure how to solve them.
Using Game Thinking, the team was able to identify the problems, find the right audience, & turn the app into a hit.
Bringing startup smarts to a large company isn’t straightforward – but when done right, these smarts can setup teams for success.
Test the Product Experience with High-Need Customers
When we started working with Dave Gross, GM of MatchCO, the team had a working app. But it was performing below expectations, & they weren’t sure how to fix it. Using metrics, the MatchCO team could see the dropoff points in their UX flow. But they didn’t know WHY it was happening.
When they surveyed their users, the results were inconclusive. They needed to talk to individual users & probe deeper.
We created a 3-phase plan to tackle this challenge:
- Identify cohorts of high-need Superfans
- Test the end-to-end experience with Superfans
- Synthesize insights & improve the design
Metrics alone never tell you WHY customers are behaving a particular way. You need to test your ideas with the right customers.
Redesign the App to Improve Trust
To find out why customers were dropping off, we recruited both active & lapsed MatchCO app users, along with fans of other Shiseido brands who were excited about customized foundation.
Interviews reveal the reason for dropoff
We showed them end-to-end product storyboards, & discovered that our customers were struggling with TRUST issues around our app’s face-scanning feature.
To feel confident buying an expensive bottle of custom foundation from an app, they needed to know that
- Their personal data would be secure
- Their color match would be accurate
- They could return it for a refund if needed
Redesign the app to fix dropoff
Using these insights, we created a new app flow to address these issues, & showed it to our users. Once we validated this approach, the app team built & shipped the changes – with great success.
Solve tough dropoff issues by combining qualitative insight with quantitative metrics
Improved Retention & Conversion
By gathering targeted insights from exactly the right people, the MatchCO team was able to identify & fix their retention & conversion problems, & see their numbers improve with each new release.
Shiseido was so impressed by our results that they adopted our techniques across the company, and replaced their outdated Customer Panels for marketing with curated Superfan Communities for ongoing design feedback.