LUSH Kitchen

Designing a new service to deliver exclusive fresh cosmetics

Lush is a remarkable British cosmetics business with a global brand.

Method saw an opportunity to explain what “Fresh” – a core value of the Lush brand proposition - means and why it matters through the delivery of a new service. Lush Kitchen is a small batch production kitchen that hand-makes exclusive fresh cosmetics daily for customers to buy online. This concept also gives customers a real ‘window into Lush’: total transparency of the business and its values in action.

In partnership with Lush, we selected a name that represented the proposition; defined the brand and service strategy; designed the customer experience and delivered the service as part of the beta release of Lush.co.uk.

www.lush.co.uk/kitchen

Challenge

Lush first came to Method to create a YouTube channel, but it quickly became apparent there was a greater opportunity: evolve the brand by better telling their story, and make digital a dimension of everything they do.

In a climate where cynicism towards business is peaking, Lush has always behaved as an ethical and responsible business that contributes to the environment in which it operates. The challenge was that few people knew this. This quintessential British brand is a true pioneer, with a maverick approach at its heart and a need to question convention. Highly innovative and owning its own supply change, it can do things other cosmetics firms simply cannot, such as creating new products ‘almost overnight’ and putting them in shops to see the response.

Method wanted to move away from a traditional brand redesign approach and find new and creative ways to bring the Lush story to life, and help the business realise its growth ambitions.

Approach

A core principle of the digital brand strategy is to ‘show the business in action [by what they were already doing]’. Method wanted to explore what happens when we applied this principle to the communication goal: show why fresh matters and why Lush products are effective.

We ran a brainstorm session and developed the idea of a small batch production unit hand-making limited editions of Lush products that are sold exclusively online. It would be an opportunity to test new innovations and bring back old favourites. This small-scale manufacturing approach helps Lush build a dialogue with customers, by having them as part of the making process, giving them a ‘window into Lush’, its methods and values. We felt so strongly about its potential, we put the concept ‘The Kitchen Shelf’ in the website prototype. Fortunately, Lush liked it too.

Lush tasked Method to define the name, brand and service proposition, and customer experience. The brief was that it needed to articulate the proposition of freshly-made exclusive products without creating confusion or risk cannibalising sales, and be mindful of the team and process recently created.

Method started by running a collaborative session to define brand attributes and map the customer experience against what was in place backstage to deliver the service. We took the workshop outputs to craft a suitable name; refine the service proposition and brand it; design the service and position it within the product portfolio; and capture requirements and recommendations on product selection, pricing strategy, and business processes.

An initial Lush Kitchen strategy was played back to the business for sign-off, with the caveat that due to the scale and speed of the website project, requirements need to be validated based on team capacity. Once we agreed to the scope, Method then guided the implementation of the service.

Outcome

On 31st March 2014, Lush Kitchen launched as the main showpiece of Lush Times and the beta release of Lush.co.uk.

Lush Kitchen sales represent 10% of all digital sales. Its introduction to the Lush family has altered buying habits; Kitchen products reguarly sell out, or are the top sellers. Customers and the beauty press have expressed excitement with Glamour Magazine, the top-selling UK women’s monthly title, tweeting:

“The #lushkitchen is open for business - and we want all the yummy products! @LushKitchen @LushLtd”

The service has been rolled out internationally. Lush also plans to use the Lush Kitchen as a channel for further product development as well as collaborations between Lush partners and customers.

2014 UX Awards: SILVER for Best Multichannel Experience