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Brand transformation and retail innovation with Procter & Gamble

Leading experience design across digital and brand transformation for a $1bn luxury skincare brand, SK-II.

Beginning in 2015 with a redesign pitch for SK-II.com, I led the team responsible for creating a global, digital AOR relationship that redefined the brand’s engagement with it’s customers.

We began by building a foundational customer relationship platform for in store consultations, this success led to SK-II.com, content, social, AR, VR and culminated in the creation of physical retail experience centres in Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.

I led a team of visual and experience designers in Singapore and worked closely with internal teams and partners in New York and London as the scope of work increased.

SK-II.com redesign

User research

Over the three years I was leading the experience design team we conducted a variety of research activities to better understand SK-II customers across several distinct markets (primarily Singapore, Japan and China).

We established a research capability that allowed for continuous research activities to be undertaken across markets, we focussed on current and future state journey mapping, engaging with customers at every point in the purchase journey to help quickly identify (and solve) pain points whilst uncovering opportunities for further engagement.

We planned and facilitated several internal future state definition workshops to help drive user centred thinking throughout the organisation.

Emerging experiences

We undertook a number of pure innovation engagements to explore the potential for emerging technology and enhanced experiences across the customer journey.

These experience innovation workstreams led to the exploration and rollout of digital and physical product experiences with SK-II Smart Cap, enhanced product packaging that helped drive use of the product through notifications and alerts, SK-II AR, a set of initiatives aimed at encouraging correct ‘first time’ product use and SK-II Self Select, a significant program of work that looked to enhance in store retail experiences for customers in Japan’s Matsumoto Kiyoshi chain of drugstores.

Brand consistency

Anticipating the level of digital engagements we would be undertaking early on in the relationship we established a SK-II Design System to ensure a consistent experience across all digital (and physical) experiences.

The Design System went on to be a vital component of future engagements for our team in New York as SK-II looked to grow the brand in North America.

Retail experience centre in Singapore

Physical retail

We were challenged to create a new approach to physical retail product purchase as an emerging experiences showcase for the annual SK-II Brand Summit, where leaders from across the brand (and the wider P&G business) come together to discuss the future of the brand.

Leading the engagement under a tight timeline I engaged a retail point of sale software provider in Australia to help create a working proof of concept for a digital vending experience.  Working with our internal design team to create final user interface screens and a basic clickable prototype, we were able to create a viable proof of concept in under 10 days.

The proof of concept was so well received that a $1m program of work was approved to research, design and roll out digital vending experiences across 5 flagship Matsumoto Kiyoshi drugstores in Tokyo.

The success of this initial rollout led to further engagements across airport duty free, department stores and out of home advertising sites.

Service design

From the beginning of the relationship with SK-II we encouraged a service design approach across engagements.

Exploring the customer journey in context of business operations helped us more effectively identify meaningful opportunities for improvement not just for the customer but for individual business units – particularly relevant when reaching customers across regional markets.

Redefining retail experiences with SK-II Future X Smart Store.

SK-II Future X Smart Store

Initially undertaken as a reinvention of the SK-II brand in it’s native Japan, the SK-II Future X Smart Store evolved to become a innovative retail experience blurring the boundaries between physical retail and technology.

Building on the existing in-store skin analysis tool, Magic Ring, we created a more engaging, less intrusive skin scanning technique utilising the latest in facial recognition technology.

Leveraging a wealth of customer data and insight we built a retail experience that empowers the customer to make informed product decisions driven by technology and relevant, contextual product experiences.

An immersive VR journey from inspiration to discovery.

‘The Journey’ immersive 360 VR video

SK-II challenged us to create an engaging content experience that could cut through the busiest online retail day in China, Tmall Singles Day.

Working with VR content specialist, Psyop, we created a 360° virtual reality experience – ‘The Journey’ – telling the story of SK-II from the sake breweries of Japan through to the extraction of the brand’s miracle ingredient, Pitera.

The experience was distributed with Google Cardboard VR headsets to a select group of online influencers and bloggers and helped SK-II become the #1 prestige skincare brand on TMall whilst driving SK-II’s single biggest day of sales to date.

An analytics dashboard to help drive smarter marketing decisions.

Working closely with data visualisation and business intelligence software developer, Domo, we created a customised intelligence dashboard for real time monitoring of global sales activity, the platform helped SK-II’s brand and marketing team make informed real time decisions around where best to spend their marketing dollars.

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