In September 2019, KAO’s skincare brand ‘SOFINA iP’ released a new service called ‘HADA id’. By taking a selfie and answering simple questions, consumers can obtain personalized beauty recommendations. *hada means skin in Japanese.
The core target audience is ‘multi-tasking women’ who want to be both effective and efficient in all aspects of life. In order to provide a stress-free service for busy modern women and to offer the best customer experience, SOFINA decided to combine various external services.
Among these external services is the ‘simple skin diagnostic’ service provided by Perfect Corp., which allows users to receive instant skin diagnostic simply by taking a selfie with a smartphone. This feature has seen over 45K weekly tryouts at the end of April 2020. Moreover, starting May 2020, weekly number of trials has exceeded 100K and on May 12th, the number peaked at over 120K.
With the new service, SOFINA gained 500K new followers on LINE (July, 2020). We asked the project leader, Mr.Shougo Teshima from the Consumer Product department at SOFINA, how this service was implemented and what are the results.
The need for personal consultations for over-the-counter cosmetics
‘SOFINA iP’ is categorized as ‘Over-the-counter cosmetics’, meaning consumers can purchase it online or at drug stores. Therefore, it is very rare that consumers can get a detailed personal consultation from beauty advisors.
We thought that “there must be consumers who want to get a consultation and get to know their skin better before purchasing ‘SOFINA iP.” This was our initial dilemma. From there, we started to build “a service that users can use to get proper skin diagnostic by themselves.”
Core target: ‘multi-tasking women’
‘SOFINA iP’s core target audience is ‘multi-tasking women’ who live in a hectic modern society and want to achieve ‘effectiveness and efficiency’ in various aspects of life including professional work, domestic chores, parenting and so on. ‘How do we make the shopping process more efficient for those busy women without having to visit the store counters?’
This was one of our priorities that we had in mind when we started to build the service.
Not only internal system but utilizing external services
Initially SOFINA thought about creating a new internal service.
The company thought of creating a new app dedicated to ‘hada id’ but quickly realized that it would take too much time and effort for their busy users. Instead, the company decided to utilize LINE, as its infrastructure is already in place. In order to provide ‘a service for users to get a proper skin diagnostic by themselves’, SOFINA deployed PERFECT Corp.’s service which provides an easy and precise skin diagnostic using advanced AI technology.As KAO has already deployed Perfect Corp.’s service, SOFINA knew how easy and fast it is to develop the service and that the reputation for Perfect Corp.’s unparalleled services providing up-to-date technology aligned with changing marketing needs. The brand takes UI and UX design very seriously and strives to make the service easy to use. We believe that the fast skin analysis and easy-to-use UX, match our target customers’ needs. As a result, we have seen a higher engagement rate with the service.
Better frequency use with gift campaign
We currently have 500K LINE friends (as of July 2020). Starting January 2020, we are giving away prizes every month to users who use the skin diagnostic tool 5 times a month and answer a few questions. With help of this campaign, our ‘simple skin diagnostic’ usage rate continues to increase.
*45K try-ons at the end of Apr 2020, 100K try-ons in May, 120K try-ons during the peak week of May 12th.
We believe that COVID-19 had a huge impact on the user’s ‘skincare mindset’ and affected the frequency of the ‘simple skin diagnostic’. Consumers’ mindset was focused on their family wellbeing and work concerns, rather than taking care of their skin. However, SOFINA sees that after the lockdown measures were cleared, many have been feeling emotionally lifted and are beginning to pay more attention to their skincare. The higher usage number in May might’ve been affected by this.
The future of ‘HADA id’
There are many new users who got to know ‘SOFINA iP’ through ‘HADA id’. For existing users, we also have cases that we could build stronger customer relationship in service and brand itself via ‘HADA id’. Until now, we only had ‘product’ as our first touch-point for our consumers, however, after ‘HADA id’ became available, this ‘service’ has become the first touch-point with our consumers for some cases. We will continue to do our best to meet the needs of our target audience by providing innovative services that are well received by our consumers and contribute to positive brand image.