Retail & Innovation

Skin is in

Drawing on 85 years of scientific expertise and innovation, Global Brands has begun trialing personalized No7 skincare services.

By Rachel Benton

No7 Skin Analysis demonstration

The new trial of the No7 Personalized Skin Diagnostic Service, launched in August on Boots.com, is helping customers identify the perfect skincare products and regimes for them from the comfort of their homes.

The brains behind the new service? The Global Brands Skincare Innovation team, which is tasked with coming up with big ideas that help consumers transform their skin health and skin longevity in ways they never thought possible.?

After asking customers a few key questions and requiring them to upload a bare-faced selfie, the new tool uses highly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide a comprehensive personalized skin analysis that identifies the areas of the face that need a little extra TLC. Running more than 100 different metrics and analyses against a library of more than 30,000 images of real people from a variety of ethnicities and ages in less than two minutes, the AI is trained to focus on eight key skin concerns – lines and wrinkles, dark circles, dark spots and more.

The service took just three months to bring to life from the initial idea, starting with the “Beauty Incubator,” Global Brand’s rapid innovation process of discovering, defining, building, testing and validating ideas.?

“We reviewed more than 200 potential technology partners, narrowed it down to five and then ran small proof-of-concept experiments,” says Debbie Perry, senior innovation manager for skincare in Global Brands. “Then COVID-19 happened and the world moved even more online. This gave us greater imperative to speed up the process even further, enabling us to go live with this digital skincare service just when consumers wanted it.”?
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No7 skincare analysis tool image

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The idea went through six rounds of design and two days of testing before going live last month. Results of the three-month trial and consumer feedback will determine next steps in the development of the service.?

“It’s no longer enough to grow our brands through relevant product differentiation,” says Munnawar Chishty, vice president and global category director of beauty in Global Brands. “We need to provide consumers with personalized skincare experiences and have a more creative and unique approach to innovation – constantly anticipating the future skincare needs of our consumers.

“This trial is our latest step in bringing even more personalized products and services to our No7 consumers as part of our mission to create a leading global beauty business. We know the skincare category is evolving, and we recognize that skin is impacted by what’s going on inside and outside of the body, as well as behavior. With the advancement of technology, we now have the ability to measure, target, monitor and create personalized holistic interventions to help our consumers care for their skin like never before.”