During the summer of 2014, Superdrug successfully launched their in-store Beauty Salon experience. Key to this was the use of interactive mirrors and screens, encouraging visitors to try styles, products and share a selfie across their social networks. Agency Origin discuss the work
In 2014, Superdrug wanted to extend the brand’s proposition of affordable beauty through to new beauty salon services. This brand strategy would help Superdrug reach younger audiences and typical users of beauty services compared to the retailer’s core customer base.
The new Superdrug store in Cardiff was selected to trial the fully fledged in-store salon. To roll the new service and format nationwide, the launch needed to achieve the following objectives:
• Create attractive, recognisable spaces in-store that appeal to the younger beauty crowd
• Introduce the salon idea to a young, playful audience as an alternative to DIY beauty
• Attract exclusive beauty brands by creating a professional studio brand
However, this concept was completely unchartered territory for the brand, challenging existing offerings on the high street as well as conceptions about the attraction of beauty services to a new younger audience.
Also, younger fashion and beauty conscious shoppers increasingly want more than to simply buy a product or service. Therefore, to be successful, Superdrug needed to enable them to part of the act by encouraging customers to experiment, share their experiences and make-overs. In this way, these new customers could engage with the brand more as a friend than retailer.
To achieve this effect, Origin needed to create an in-store experience for the beauty studios within which the customers cold be more immersed in the experience and share their experience with friends. In this way, Superdrug could aim to reach a new younger audience through its visiting customers by delivering a pleasurable retail experience that was fun, enjoyable, inexpensive and sharable.
To encourage the young and beauty-obsessed to come in-store to join the fun, strut their stuff and get pampered, a whole new beauty studio concept was created that would compliment and lift the brand’s retail offering: pick up a nail polish and have it applied by a pro, buy a hair dye and get your roots touched up in store, choose some falsies but avoid the sticky fingers…
New Beauty Studio Brands
Origin is part of marketing services company, APS Group, who have been providing Superdrug with a complete end-to-end marketing and sales promotion since 2008. From creating brand guidelines through to design, print and digital display services. This has involved promoting annual sales events such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and themed seasonal sales promotions ‘The Summer’ and the brands 50th birthday.
Extending the brand into a new service that would appeal to a younger fashion-forward audience required a more innovative approach to Superdrug’s traditional sales promotion such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas and themed promotions ‘The Summer’ and the brand’s 50th birthday.
The team strategy combined strong branding with new and advanced digital solutions. Origin helped craft dedicated brands for beauty and hair salons – a mix of 1950s retro glam and pop-art: candy-coloured and fun. These brands integrated stylishly with the store environment and provided a platform for a glamorous launch campaign: Beauty Studio and Hair Space.
Origin produced all photography and artwork used throughout the store and in all branded communications, developed salon logos and colour palette, and applied this throughout all interiors and products. The agency also devised copy and messaging for the launch campaigns.
Digital retail innovations
Using the new branding, state-of-the-art screens were used for which Origin created all digital content including design, production of animated creative and delivery of gondola ends and mirrored footfall screens.
To help customers explore different products, an interactive mirror lets them try out different hair styles; screens are also provided to help tailor products to their skin type; a large interactive screen at the end of a ‘cat walk’ also lets customers share their makeovers by taking ‘selfies’ that can then be posted on social networks. In this way, Superdrug would also encourage word of mouth and build a relationship with new customers through its existing customers.
Digital innovations are shaping the future of retail offering by using interactive technology in store that create immediate experiences that consumers can share. This potential was forefront in creating a brand extension for Superdrug from buying affordable products into the more immersive beauty salon service.
Therefore, creating an in-store experience through interactive technologies in Superdrug, very much anticipates what fashion and beauty retail will look like in the future.
The launch day was a huge success, with a beauty buzz all over the store and online, From iFace mirrors, to video content gondola ends and a digital wall at the end of the catwalk the new beauty store now boasts a fully managed digital media solution.
In addition, since the store launch in July, Cardiff’s Superdrug has seen measurable increases in cosmetics and perfume sales. The performance of this flagship store in both sales and brand perception has justified the roll out of an additional 10 new stores now planned for 2015.