Reaching out to women: Shiseido does it well


One of my favorite makeup and skincare brands is Shiseido. The cosmetics company has a 140 years of history, and is the number one cosmetics brand in Japan, and fifth worldwide. I like the brand not because I’m a devoted Shiseido products user, but more because of the company’s great digital initiatives both online and offline.

Shiseido-Makeup-simulatorThe most recent such effort from Shiseido is the launch of its Makeup Simulator app, which is used by over 11,000 beauty consultants at Shiseido stores on ‘Beauty tablets’ (iPads). By looking into the screen as you would look into a mirror, the app replicates your face without makeup, using that representation as a base to try on various makeup products. The app cleverly eliminates the hassle of removing your own makeup to try on products.

Shiseido’s first skin analysis product was invented back in 1984 and it has been enhanced and upgraded ever since. There are handy skin sensors installed in its Beauty Tablets as well, allowing skin condition to be measured anywhere in the store. The results can be saved, making continuous advising possible. To see many of Shiseido’s unique digital-enabled services, you can visit Shiseido – The Ginza located in Ginza, Tokyo.

But if you can’t make it there in person, Shiseido offers part of its simulation app over on its website. By uploading your photo on Beauty Check, the simulator analyses the balance of your face, and then according to the type of look you want to try on, it makes suggestions from different Shiseido product lines such as Integrate or Maquillage.

Shiseido is also well known for its social media activities. For example, Majolica Majorca is a makeup line for younger women, popular both inside and outside of Japan. The company operates social accounts on Facebook and Pinterest in both Japanese and English. As you might expect, the company is active on Line too, opening that account back in July of 2012.

There are many apps and services that specifically target females, especially here in Japan. There is much to be learned from Shiseido’s many digital initiatives to better understand how to sell to the female demographic.