The site, created by design agency Method, offers editorial content on new Lush products and campaigns, as well as access to a new service, the “Lush Kitchen”, where customers will be able to get information on and buy exclusive, limited edition products. The new site is supported by social media, with Lush planning Google Hangouts to showcase how it sources ingredients and makes its cosmetics and real-time updates on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a forum for customers to suggest and vote on new products.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Lush’s digital managing director says many people perceive Lush as simply a “soap shop” but it is now looking to use digital to communicate the “breadth and depth” of its products – including the ingredients it uses, how it sources them and the fact they are fresh and handmade. It also wants to highlight what the brand stands for and is introducing an online platform, dubbed “Soap Box”, that offers campaigners and charities a mouthpiece to talk about issues important to the company, such as climate change, the environment and human rights issues.
There are plans to launch a ‘Fan Club’ loyalty programme that will focus on providing “exclusivity”, rather than discounts or points, according to Constantine. Lush is also working on ways to personalise the site through wishlists and tailored product suggestions using user profiles, as well as how to introduce digital to its stores, for example with iPads that could be used to make purchases and WiFi that could push marketing messages to customers.
Constantine admits Lush has been “a few steps behind” when it comes to digital but has spent the last year working out how to “pull the internet into the heart of the business”. He says the aim initially is to clean up Lush’s global brand identity, starting with the website launch in the UK, before taking on misconceptions of the cosmetics industry as “celebrity-endorsed and over-advertised”.
“There is a consistency that we need to establish so people understand that [the website] is Lush and not some dodgy copycat. We are pulling together our global digital presence into one that clearly conveys what Lush is as a brand.
“We are looking to provide a fresh take on cosmetics. Like the food industry has moved towards fresh, organic food, we want to seize this opportunity to revolutionise the cosmetics industry to provide deli-style cosmetics that are fresh and more like a homecooked meal than a microwave meal,” says Constantine.