When it comes to finding the right shade of make up for your skin, I’m confident that I’m not alone in my frustration. Most, if not all, cosmetic brands offer a range of makeup in different shades, catering to both light and dark skins, with different moisture levels. However, this standard range of shades don’t cover all skin tones, which leaves the consumer constantly wondering if they’re leaving home with their face too light or too dark.
Lancôme, one of the pioneers among the cosmetic industry leaders that have shifted their focus to be more customer-centric, are now engaging in personalized products by co-creating with their consumers.
What is it?
The company recently introduced their new product – Le Tient Particulier. It’s a foundation in the shade custom-made for your skin. The consumers face is scanned with a small handheld gadget and the data is then presented to them on a screen with information about their skin. The consumer has the option to select the moisture level of the formula and it’s coverage intensity. The data is sent to a machine that dispenses the formula’s ingredients and blends it together. Within a few minutes, the personalized product is ready. The consumer can test it on their skin and tweak it to their liking. The final product is then saved to the consumers’ custom Complexion ID, which is printed on the bottle with their name, for easy refills. (Lancôme 2017a)
In this experience, the consumers needs are centred and the consumers become part of the value creation process . Lancôme is also able to build stronger relationships with their consumers. Their business model is to offer high quality products that are relevant for all consumers, in addition to meeting their goal of “continually taking science and creativity to new levels” (Lancôme 2017b).
The joint profitability criteria is met as the product maximizes the joint payoffs for both the consumers and the company. The consumers benefit from obtaining the product designed for their skin, which perfectly meets their needs, thus eliminating the need for them to continue experimenting with different products or settling for one that is less satisfactory. Furthermore, consumers will be able to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that arise by modifying the product to their preferences (Franke, Schreier & Kaiser 2010).
Even though the company is faced with the investment cost of the machines per store location, the company benefits from the high switching costs consumers experience after purchasing this product. They will likely continue to purchase the product as they’ve found the ideal formula for their skin. In addition, the company further secures consumer loyalty by offering consumers the option to tweak the formula if the consumers become unhappy with it.
The feasibility of the required allocations is also met. While the polity and judiciary dimensions of the institutional environment are not directly related in this case, the social norms dimension is met. Lancôme is a reputable luxury skincare and cosmetics brand, which increases trust in its brand.
Franke, N, Schreier, M & Kaiser, U 2010, ‘The “I Designed It Myself” Effect in Mass Customization’, Management Science, vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 125 – 140, viewed 12 February 2017, <http://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/pdf/10.1287/mnsc.1090.1077>.
Lancôme 2017a, Le Tient Particulier, Lancôme, viewed 16 February 2017, <http://www.lancome-usa.com/LTP-landing-page.html>.
Lancôme 2017b, Discover Lancôme, Lancôme, viewed 16 Februrary 2017, <http://www.lancome-usa.com/discover-lancome>.