Procter & Gamble, the FMCG business, is fusing consumer insights and new technology to create goods and services that combine “what’s needed with what’s possible” according to chief brand officer Marc Pritchard.

Speaking at CES in Las Vegas, he offered the example of the SK-II Future X concept store in Shanghai, where the focus is on the use of technology to enhance the customer experience. (For more, read WARC’s report: P&G’s innovation formula gets smarter and more personalized.)

He described it as “an AI-supported shopping experience” in which smart scans of a consumer’s skin lead to personalized recommendations which can then be purchased via a simple wave of their wrist.

“It’s the first augmented reality ‘phigital’ retail environment … including state-of-the art facial recognition, computer vision, and AI technology that’s enhanced by SK-II’s proprietary skin science and diagnostic innovation, so you can get exactly what you need,” said Pritchard.

And if consumers depart with an SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Smart Bottle, the shopper can link it to a branded app that tracks daily product usage and provides bespoke suggestions about their skincare regimen. “You can get personalized skincare every single day,” he added.

Another P&G skincare brand is harnessing tech to similar ends. The Olay Skin Advisor is a digital service that lets users take a selfie, upload the resultant image online, and compare their “skin age” with their actual age.

“It’s proprietary algorithm has been trained with over 50,000 images to detect areas that are driving your skin age and then pinpoint the skincare regimen that fits your specific needs,” explained Kathleen Fish, P&G’s chief research, development and innovation officer.

“More than five million visitors in 11 countries have already experienced the Olay Skin Advisor’s approach to personalized skincare.”

Behind these two examples lies a major shift in P&G’s thinking as it is “innovating how we innovate” – with more entrepreneurialism, more partnerships, greater speed and a reinvention of brand building “from wasteful mass marketing to highly personalized, one-to-one brand building on a mass scale,” said Pritchard.

Sourced from WARC