CH 10 CASE STUDY
How Sephora Creates Beauty Across Brand Touchpoints
- Sephora, a premium cosmetic retailer, has earned tremendous loyalty by extending their brand across what its customers value—all things beauty. The company understands that its customers want to enjoy and experience their passion for beauty in different ways, and it uses several brand touchpoints to enable this.
- The first is by providing a sensory-filled in-store experience. As they shop, Sephora customers have the unique opportunity to physically interact and experiment with different lines of products. Such accessibility has resonated especially well among Millennials, who view beauty buying as a “hunt” for their right individual look. The company has introduced numerous customer-facing tools to further facilitate finding a personalized style. For example, InstaScent spritzes raw notes of a perfume to help customers determine which defining scent they identify with the most before exploring specific fragrances with a storage consultant. Sephora offers the Color IQ handheld device to aid customers in understanding what products match their skin tones.
- Sephora’s commitment to the experiential element of shopping for beauty products extends to its web presence. Sephora Virtual Artist allows customers to try on dozens of lipstick color variations in seconds, with add-on features like the ability to compare different shades simultaneously or randomize options to test out. For customers either seeking something specific or hoping to be inspired, the Sephora Beauty Board is a great resource. Along with the option to simply browse through the site, users can post pictures of products to gain feedback from others. Sephora TV provides yet another platform where customers can see “how-to” instructional videos on how to achieve a certain look.
- Lastly, Sephora views its online community as valuable for connecting customers who share the same passion for beauty. The BeautyTalk forum provides an opportunity to converse with experts about makeup, skincare, fragrances, and more.
- With 360 stores in North America and nearly 1,800 worldwide, Sephora’s footprint continues to grow. By offering programs that connect its brand to what customers value, Sephora has successfully strengthened customer-brand relationships and improved brand loyalty.
- Analyze how Sephora connects its brand to emotional, self-expressive, and social benefits for the customer. Please clearly identify which of these 3 benefits (or a combination of the 3) each connection targets. Do not lump all three together!
- How can Sephora’s brand touchpoints be improved to reach non-Millennials? Please be specific here and include your original thoughts as well as outside sources.