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Pioneering a New Horizon of Beauty

Volume 3 Research & Communication Edition:
Delving into the Context of Each Individual Consumer

April 16, 2024

Keiichiro Hisano Hiroaki Kosugi

This is the third installment in the series of interviews with the team members involved in creating value for the new inner beauty brand "SHISEIDO BEAUTY WELLNESS" launched on February 1, 2024. In this final edition, we talked to Keiichiro Hisano, Group Manager of Shiseido’s Inner Beauty Business Department, and Hiroaki Kosugi, Vice President of Shiseido’s MIRAI Technology Institute Frontier Business R&D Center, about their design by which they create connections with consumers.

SHISEIDO BEAUTY WELLNESS is a brand that views health and beauty not only in terms of appearance or the ‘skin,’ but also as a state in which the skin, body, and mind are in harmony. As such, it aims to help realize a healthy beauty that is unique to every individual through everyday living. In February 2024, the following three product brands were launched.

  • TUNE BEAUTE, co-developed with Tsumura & Co.
  • ROOTINA, co-developed with Kagome Co., Ltd.
  • The renewed, The Collagen
The Collagen

Visualizing the Connection of Skin, Body, and Mind as an Experience:
The Inner Beauty Algorithm

―SHISEIDO BEAUTY WELLNESS (SBW) was launched on February 1, 2024. When and how did you both get involved?

Hisano: I took up my post in January 2023. Before that, I was a Brand Manager of a cosmetics brand at Shiseido Japan. At SBW, I am mainly in charge of building and executing communications for the brand launch.

Keiichiro Hisano, Group Manager of the Inner Beauty Business Department

Hiroaki Kosugi, Vice President of the MIRAI Technology Institute Frontier Business R&D Center

Kosugi: I joined Shiseido about two years ago in 2022, and I am currently in charge of research that is broadening Shiseido's fields, such as food, hair regeneration medicine, and cosmetronics (beauty devices, diagnostic equipment) at the MIRAI Technology Institute Frontier Business R&D Center. I remember being very excited when I learned about the collaboration with Tsumura and Kagome shortly after joining the company, as it was an opportunity to participate in a large project that goes beyond the boundaries of Shiseido.

―In stepping into a new realm of beauty, was there anything unique about the way you conducted your research?

Kosugi: The relationship between skin, body, and mind is something everyone is aware of through personal experience. It's a big challenge to clarify through science, things that we sort of know but aren’t clear about, to understand what we see, and make use of what we find out. At the MIRAI Technology Institute Frontier Business R&D Center, instead of the traditional hypothesis testing approach, we analyzed a vast amount of data collected from over 2,500 women over five years to unravel how the body and mind are connected to the skin. There are times when you can see the connection from the data. However, sometimes, these can just be meaningless correlations. We determine whether it's real or not by combining it with data science.

―So, you're interpreting this vast amount of data by also using Shiseido's unique intuition?

Kosugi: When we give what we see meaning, Shiseido’s professional perspective and the science we’ve cultivated over the years of looking at skin become important. Shiseido’s accumulated knowledge acts as a “sieve,” bringing to light the truly meaningful relationships and causal relationships between the body, mind, and skin. We call this organized information for SBW the “Inner Beauty Algorithm.”
Hisano: At SBW, we use this "Inner Beauty Algorithm" to deepen our communication with our customers. Why does beauty change? Why do changes in the body and mind show in our appearance? When we introduce the scientific backing for these changes that everyone feels, it resonates with them and trust in the brand begins to develop. We take pride in the fact that this combination of sense and understanding is a form of Art & Science, which is our DNA.

What is the Inner Beauty Algorithm? (Japanese only)

Brand communication that fits into the context of a consumer's life

―It's nice to be able to understand what you're sort of feeling, isn't it?

Hisano: Since SBW's products are taken into the body, it's important that they are reliable and based on evidence. We thought it was important to earn trust, so that customers would think, "This brand gets it," "I want to learn more from this brand." Without trust, they won't incorporate our products into their lives and use them habitually.

―Does the communication differ from that of cosmetics?

Hisano: Food is intimately closer to life and lifestyles in general. That's why we wanted to show a vision that can only be realized by Shiseido, a company that has strength in the context of beauty, as opposed to supplements that mainly have a functional appeal in the context of health. Our target who are women are especially constantly swaying in the balance of skin, body, and mind, and are sensitive to changes. Beauty is not something that is made, but a "dynamic" thing that lives within oneself, and everyone can carefully nurture it while controlling it themselves. If people resonate with this, we believe that the proposal of new habits will take root.

―So that's where the message "Beauty is alive" comes from.

Hisano: In order to pioneer a new horizon in beauty, we thought it was necessary to come up with a message that serves as an essential and universal "stance." The phrase needed to express the brand philosophy, one that serves as a guide not only for the customers, but also for us, the creators, so that we don't lose sight of the essence of the brand. So, as muses who embody people who are living a healthy and beautiful lifestyle through the connection of skin, body, and mind, we brought in Nana Seino and Mikako Ichikawa.

―From a research perspective, what are your thoughts about this message?

Kosugi: This is more of a personal opinion rather than a research perspective, but I think these words affirm a person's way of life and choices. In our research institute, when we come up with ideas, we value the sense of affirming something rather than negating it. I resonate with this, and I find it interesting.

―So, it's a communication style that encourages customers to nurture themselves, isn't it?

Hisano: To carve out a new domain, we needed a breakthrough through collaboration with professionals like Kagome and Tsumura. And I think it's important to firmly embed ourselves in the context of society to deliver the new solutions we've created to consumers.
As society is settling down following the Covid pandemic, it seems to me that the world is becoming more essential and inward-looking, that people are looking for happiness and joy by taking control of things themselves. For example, even in a busy life, improving the quality of sleep, getting in shape in a sauna, and moving one’s body frequently has taken root. I believe that we as Shiseido can induce new habits and bring about a value of improving oneself to achieve health and beauty in this consumer context.

First, connect with customers through a "way of thinking"

―Kosugi-san, when you joined Shiseido in 2022, were there any moments of surprise that made you think, "Is this what Shiseido is like?"

Kosugi: Well, as a brand, having multiple products and proposing a "way of thinking" was fresh. I think, spreading a way of thinking, or rather a culture, is a big goal or perspective unique to Shiseido.
Hisano: To create a brand that lasts a long time, I think it's important to first connect with customers through our way of thinking and get them to understand us. As a result of this, they will continue to buy our products.
Ultimately, what will lead to purchases is whether they can have a good experience at various touchpoints.
This time, we have launched a dedicated EC and are practicing the OMO (Online merges with Offline) model. Here, we plan to build a solid user base of fans by connecting directly with customers through brand-initiated information surrounding inner beauty.
At stores we expect that the conversation between a Personal Beauty Partner and a customer will be a major brand experience. This is because we can make the best proposals if we delve deep into the customer's concerns by listening to their entire story, face-to-face. We will develop high-quality experiences and services unique to SBW based on the customer data we obtained through both online and offline methods.

SHISEIDO BEAUTY WELLNESS website (Japanese only)

Brands bearing the Shiseido name

―SBW is a brand that bears the name SHISEIDO

Hisano: I feel the weight of having the company name in the brand. I think it is a name that looks to the future of Shiseido, a company that aims to be a PERSONAL BEAUTY WELLNESS COMPANY by 2030. It embodies our intention to be a brand that grows by expanding its domain and aiming for health and beauty that is right for our customers.

―Is there anything that you think is unique to Shiseido?

Kosugi: Thoroughness. We thoroughly back up everything. I think to myself as I work that this will garner trust. The brand name bearing the name Shiseido has within it a sense of sincerity and conviction in delivering the right and proper products to our customers.
For example, there are five types of Tune Beaute that we made with Tsumura. When people have skin or body problems, they often deceive themselves, even though they know that the cause of the problems is different for each person. At SBW, we clearly communicate that there are various internal reasons, and that these are different for each person." With our unique sharpness, we earnestly illuminate and clarify the slightly fuzzy aspects of human beings, and we propose ways of improvement. We are serious in this way.

"Presentation at the SBW Press Conference"

Hisano: Hearing Kosugi-san's story again, I can say that we've been very particular about how we create and develop information around our brands; we always make sure that people living in the present can trust our brands. This may be tied to the attitude that Shiseido has cherished over the years. We have also incorporated a lot of expertise from external specialists, including our collaborative partners. From autonomic nerves, female hormones, sleep, Eastern philosophy to vegetable science, we need to be a brand that can provide inner beauty information from fields that seem outside our specialty; otherwise, we cannot truly be of service to our consumers. We know that there are still countless routes to beauty. We have our own unique nasal bone structure check application, as well as expert content that provides questions and answers.

Checking the nasal structure


―What kind of BETTER WORLD do you aim to create through your work at Shiseido?

Hisano: For me, I want to provide optimal value for everyone, something that will fulfil each person’s lifestyle and beauty aspirations. I think Shiseido through this can be a company that is able to support the creation of a BETTER WORLD.
Kosugi: I think it is a world where there is a coming together of self-affirmations. Personally, when I look at my daughter, I can’t help but think she’s feeling confident about what she's doing and the choices she's making; she’s sparkling. Becoming beautiful with one’s own choosing and that sense of affirmation going round and round might just be what the state of happiness is. I think that with more such individuals, the world as a whole will become a better place.
Hisano: Speaking of affirmations going round and round, it reminds me. This SBW mark represents the circulation within the body. The Shiseido Creative team created this image of good things circulating within the body and turning into beautiful energy. This mark might represent one form of a BETTER WORLD.