6 ways to refresh your brand with innovation:  No7’s Match Made service

Post by Anna Eggleton, Managing Partner and Head of Service branding

Hot on the heels of this week's post on Unilever's Omo brand harnessing technology, here's another example of technology-led innovation. The Boots No7 Match Made service has helped refresh the brand in many ways, with six of these outlined below.

1. Use innovation to answer a consumer need

Foundation, as the name suggests, is the vital building block to women’s make-up. But it’s not easy to get right. 75% of women are unhappy with the colour match of their foundation to their skin tone. And yet 50% keep plugging away with the same brand and shade. 

The No7 Match Made Service enables a No7 advisor to measure your skin tone through a patented device. Your skin tone is then accurately matched to the shades in No7’s new foundation range.  No more guessing, no more mis-match. Women finally know the perfect shade for them.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.15.36
2. Use innovation to get closer to customers

Technology can often stand in the way of an interaction with a consumer. In the case of Match Made the technology is used to drive and enhance the conversation, not replace it.  Once colour has been established the consultant can then discuss what type of foundation, lipstick you would like. This is a blend of technology and human interaction. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.15.42
3. Use innovation to being your brand promise to life

No7 is positioned as premium but accessible.  The Match Made service reinforces this by offering a personalised service in local high street stores.  The website enables you to search for your nearest store and book an appointment.  It feels like a personalised shopper experience, but one that is accessible on your local high street. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.15.48
4. Use innovation to deliver product "sausage" as well as sizzle

Before the launch of Match Made the foundation range was completely re-engineered. By measuring and matching the skin colour of over 2,000 British women Nº 7   ensured a ‘true’ match to British women’s skin tone.  Boots used the launch of Match Made to refresh their product and increase premiumisation.

5. Use innovation to create fresh consistency

Match Made builds on the success of No7’s Intelligent Colour.  This foundation offer was built on exactly the same insight of difficulty in selecting the right match. Boots didn’t feel the need to abandon this insight and search for a new one.  Rather, they realised the insight was still true for most women and that they could meet it in an even better way. 

Boots have continued to leverage the Match Made brand property, launching a Match Made service for Concealer, lipstick and blusher. This builds consistency to create memory structure, whilst giving them something fresh to talk about each year.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.15.53
6. Use innovation to create "social currency"

Boots needed to get women excited and intrigued enough about the new service to come in store for their own consultation. The great thing about Match Made is that the innovation had "social currency": in trials 92% of women rated it as excellent and 80%+ said they would pass it on to the women they knew (source: Boots trials). Women believed in it and were willing to advocate it. This enabled Boots to launch and promote the service with a social media campaign focused on Facebook. They partnered with the Pixie Woo girls, who tried the service and recorded their experiences for Boots as video content

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 16.16.06
In conclusion, Match Made from Boots Nº 7is a good example of a big consumer goods company using technology to drive innovation that builds brand distinctiveness.