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Social Issue Based Brand Transformation: Strategies of the Luxury Beauty Brand SK-II

Published 17 Jan 2022
Reference 6681
Topic Marketing
Region Asia
Summary

SK-II, a leading luxury beauty brand in Japan, was experiencing a decline, losing customers to aggressive rivals, and struggling to stay compelling in a changing society. This loss of momentum called for a new strategy that would transform the brand and transcend the competition. The case describes the market landscape, economic, societal and technological changes, as well as SK-II’s prior strategies and their implementation. In developing a new strategy, it had to decide 1) whether to incorporate the issue of gender equality into the brand purpose; 2) how to revolutionize the brand experience by integrating digital technology in every aspect; 3) how to leverage social media, the metaverse and other media platforms synergistically; 4) how to work with celebrities as well as influencers to create an engaging and prestigious brand image. The case takes students through the process of assessing the pros and cons associated with the potential options, crafting a strategy, and developing a detailed implementation plan.

Teaching objectives

This case can be used in a variety of learning contexts, including MBA, EMBA, MS, executive education and undergraduate courses. The content is suited to courses on marketing, branding, strategy, social issue-based business transformation, digital transformation, digital disruption, social media, the metaverse and related topics. For students, the aim is to understand marketing and branding in a digitized world, as well as a world where business incorporate social issues (such as gender equality) into ‘brand purpose’ – i.e., a reason to exist beyond profitmaking. The case illustrates key decisions such as how to boost a brand’s relevance and customer relationships with a purpose-led strategy; how that purpose is brought to life by digital technologies in every aspect of the brand experience, how to integrate various media platforms to deliver coherent brand communications; how to work with both celebrities and influencers to create an engaging brand image.

Keywords
  • SK-II:Beauty
  • Luxury
  • Skin Care
  • Cosmetics
  • Digital Transformation
  • Gender Equality
  • Influencer
  • Social Media
  • Social Issue
  • Brand Purpose
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Branding
  • Q12022