Max Factor makes brand interactive as it connects ‘digital and physical world’ with scannable app

Max Factor is making all of its 500 products scannable through an app, which will provide the consumer with tailored content and reviews, in a bid to “revolutionise the world of cosmetics and the retail sector”.

The make-up brand, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, has partnered with visual browsing start-up Blippar to make its entire range scannable through the app. 

By scanning a product, customers will gain access to related content, including reviews, tutorial videos and before and after pictures. Max Factor will be using reviews from online retailers such as Boots to ensure they are not biased.

The app was built after Max Factor found that women are increasingly using their mobile phone at point of purchase to validate their choices. Laure Murciano, global brand manager at Max Factor, told Marketing Week that while 70% of women research online before buying beauty products in-store, 90% of purchases still happen offline.

“With this innovation we’re putting the shopper at the centre and making the Max Factor brand interactive. We identified that women do a lot of research online when it comes to the beauty category. Only 10% actually make the purchase online, which means 90% of those women are going to the store and we lose them between the online and offline world,” she explained.

“Our goal is to make the journey as seamless as possible for the consumer. When a consumer interacts with the product or the brand she can get exactly the right content at that specific time.”

The brand initially tested the app with 200 women, and found that 70% said they would use the app and listen to recommendations. Some 30% actually bought two products instead of one because of the recommendation.

Offering a personalised experience

Over the next couple of months Max Factor also hopes to make its advertising available to scan through the app and evolve the experience through personalisation.

Murciano commented: “This is the beginning of the journey. The intent is to have an even more personalised experience, so when a consumer identifies her skin tone using the app, it will provide tailored suggestions.”

She added that education will be critical in convincing consumers to download the app, with in-store beauty consultants playing an important part.

“It’s all about consumers knowing what they will get out of it. It’s also about winning time. Through the app, consumers can repurchase the right product in one click.”

Laure Murciano, global brand manager, Max Factor

The app also uses geo-targeting, which means the content will differ in every country. Depending on the consumer’s location, the brand will also be able to send them tailored offers.

However, the brand won’t be holding on to any customer data. While the brand can track at a base level what they’re looking at and what they’re interacting with, all the data has been anonymised.

“P&G does not collect consumer data, it’s part of our [company vision] not to own the data coming from consumers. But we will know what she is looking for from an algorithm standpoint, and are able to serve her the right content. We are very cautious about this, as there is a high protection of private consumer data,” she explained.

Phone with Blipp in front of Hatch

More than just a gimmick

To measure the app’s success, the brand will predominantly be looking at the time the consumer has spent interacting with the app, as well as brand affinity. “It’s very much about qualitative measurements and driving brand equity,” she said.

Murciano denied the app would be just a gimmick, as the brand believes it is “more of a mission than a one off project”.

She concluded: “We believe this is where the world is going. Searching for information by using the camera of your phone is going to become more important. We have included our entire range, so it’s more of a mission than a one off project.”

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