This time last year I wrote about Clinique’s new ‘as you like it’ service, where they provided the unpressurised experience people had been lusting after for years. This was the first step in their customer service revolution, and this week I popped down to their flagship stand in Selfridges to see the second phase being rolled out. I was pretty impressed with what they’d achieved a year ago, but this new experience takes customer service at makeup counters to a whole new level. As soon as you approach the stand you’ll realise that it’s much more open and airy than previously, encouraging you to wander around at your pleasure and have a look at the products on offer. Everything is now at eye level and gone are the strict display cabinets, with all products being set out in a way that encourages you to pick them up and have a play. The whole design of the stand has been constructed to bring the products to life through the senses – touch, sound, sight, smell – so there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Each stand has an iPad where you can flick through to find product info, as well as answering a few questions about your lifestyle and skin concerns in order to provide you with a personalised product prescription. You can print this off to take it home, or in the build up to Christmas just email it to a loved one to ensure they get a gift that you really want!
The most fun element of the stand is the ‘touch and play’
centres – you can touch a button to change the appearance of the product
image to illustrate the benefits it brings, press the dispenser button
to release product into your hand with a sound effect to bring to life
the key result, as well as hands-on ‘experiments’ with sponges to show
how your skin absorbs product and how to ensure it’s most effective. The
new Clinique counter makes shopping fun again, rather than an
intimidating and confusing experience that most people dread; you don’t
even have to talk to a sales rep if you don’t want to, although they’re
available with giant smiles and fab advice if you need them. It’s nice
to see that everything has been thought of, from the way the foundations
are displayed in a foundation bar, to the fact that the lip products
are around the edge so you can have a quick swatch and be on your way. I
really admire and respect the brand for creating a stand-out experience
that really is second-to-none – you only have to walk around the rest
of the Selfridges beauty hall to see how different the Clinique
experience is. Even if you don’t know the products, I’d thoroughly
recommend you pop down and have a play… You never know, you may
discover a new favourite!
The new experience is currently only available in Selfridges London, but elements will be rolling out throughout the country over the next year.