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Case study

How Micro-battles Powered a Brand and Sales Lift at BeautyCo

A global beauty products company needed to reinvigorate its sales and branding in the premium fragrance category. Using Bain Micro-battles System®, the company piloted three distinct strategies, resulting in a boost in retail sales; improved digital shopping, advertising and buying experiences; and an enhanced social media and influencer footprint.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • +35% improvement in marketing effectiveness
  • 2x improvement in buying intention driven by better training

The Story

The Situation

BeautyCo* had achieved steady gains over the course of a decade with key products, but the company lacked an overall growth strategy. After working with Bain to create a strategic vision and align its business and financial goals, BeautyCo focused on projects to reinvigorate and grow its key brands. But a culture characterized by functional silos prevented employees from rapidly delivering better results.

Our Approach

BeautyCo and Bain analyzed the company’s top goals and identified three projects that were well-suited to Bain Micro-battles System®an approach to strategy that emphasizes discrete, rapid, customer-focused initiatives that produce quick and tangible results, and can then be scaled across the organization.

The three micro-battles created at BeautyCo sought to:

  • reimagine the retail shopper experience;
  • improve digital shopping touchpoints; and
  • increase brand awareness, engagement and advocacy through social media.

Using a combination of A/B testing, customer feedback, and Agile Innovation, BeautyCo created specific action plans for each micro-battle.

 Physical retail

  • Create a selling “ritual” that guides the customer experience at retail locations.
  • Train in-store beauty advisers during intensive two-day sessions, imparting the value of storytelling and detailed product descriptions.
  • Redesign the in-store experience with improved lighting, products organized by customers’ gender, and information on each product’s unique characteristics.
  • Instill a stronger sense of brand identity in product and gift packaging through a consistent use of color and theme.

Digital retail

  • Maximize ROI of ad campaigns by using A/B testing.
  • Negotiate with e-tailing partner to gain more visibility into customer data and purchasing behaviors.
  • Create an online fragrance finder to address millennial shoppers’ tendency to be overwhelmed by choices, and create an option to request samples.
  • Include more brand storytelling in the online sales experience.

Digital marketing

  •    Use A/B testing on social media video content to determine which videos (based on themes, length and delivery channel) made the biggest impact on viewers (both in the aggregate and by target age group).
    • Launch real-time monitoring of social media mentions, and hire community manager to engage with media authors.
    • Create influencer incentive strategy to boost brand followers and product referrals.

The Results

Using Bain Micro-battles System, BeautyCo improved the customer retail and digital sales experience and boost social media mentions and referrals, all of which combined to lift sales via the company’s retail and digital platforms.

The newly trained beauty advisers (BA) were twice as likely to understand customers’ needs (as evaluated by customers) and shoppers were almost twice as likely to buy (78% when dealing with a trained adviser vs. 39% when dealing with an untrained peer). Redesigned beauty bars attracted more visits, with 86% of customers rating them “highly refined and elegant.” Increased visits put BeautyCo on track to register 25,000 new customers per year through 2020.

* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.

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