project overview
role
skincare global product manager for Soap & Glory (No7 Beauty Company) from March 2019 to March 2020
scope
end to end: strategy, kick off, development and collaboration with brand teams for launch
timeline
from mid 2019
product launch
March 2020 (UK) • July 2020 (US)
pre-face
this project is shared to demonstrate some of the scenarios that had required me to work under limitations and through constraints to deliver on business requirements

whilst they are not standard UX projects, they have significantly shaped how I think and work as the designer I am today.

to comply with my non-disclosure agreements, I have omitted confidential information. all information in this case study are my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Soap & Glory (No7 Beauty company)

should I be invited for conversations to discuss opportunities I would be able to share further broad context regarding the challenges and the actions I took.
my role: "global product manager"

using references of a typical design team: in beauty product development, a "global product manager" is kind of like your ux designer and product manager combined

like a UX designer,

I would manage the concept of a product to design and like collaborating with "developers", I worked with key project team members such as formulation chemists, packaging technologists and project managers to ensure that the end product matches the vision and is delivered on time.

I'll also conduct usability testing on development prototypes to gather feedback and iterate. does the product deliver the claims that are important for the user and does it delight on an emotional level?

I run plentiful competitor analysis to understand product opportunities and devise unique product positionings for the product & ranges that I manage

I balance the needs and goals of not only my user, but also multiple business functions and c-suite level stakeholders.

like a product manager,

I also worked at a strategic level, ensuring that the product supports the company's overall strategy and goals. It is also my responsibility to deliver a differentiated product to market that addresses a need whilst representing a viable business opportunity

subsequently, for the ranges that I manage, I am the owner of the product vision, the strategy and the 3-year launch plan road map

I'm required to have technical knowledge of my project team members' function areas for optimal collaborative relationships
project context

key projects were unfortunately on the line when I joined the company in 2019

developing beauty products requires you to play everything correctly in the long game.

strenuously long product development timelines (typically 2+ years) means you have to anticipate opportunities far in advance

the need to comply with cosmetics regulations leads to long and challenging formulation and packaging testing to ensure it's safe

components to make cosmetics products can have long lead times for delivery and requires great co-ordination of supply chains to guarantee that it's well received for production

and so, any slips can push launch timings out, making the opportunities planned many years out, less and less relevant to the end consumer

it's therefore not uncommon for projects to be at risk

uneventfully, this was the scenario when I was onboarded to the role in 2019.

key business stakeholders were getting frustrated. they wanted new products to launch immediately to ensure we could give our end user excitement

challenge

how might we develop and launch new products for 2020 under significantly reduced and tight timelines?

I was being made aware that there were many things on the line if the category could not deliver
outcome

soap & glory glow cleansers

a duo launch of a melting cleansing balm and a 2 minute facial polish

product 1 - soap & glory • glow your mind cleansing balm

product 2 - soap & glory • scrub in the fast lane • 2 minute facial

impact

new products launched on time as planned, with a significant reduction in development timings vs. the standard

in first month of launch, despite closed stores due to covid-19, sales exceeded commercial forecast expectations

success of these 2 new products paved the way for further expansion of the glow skincare range for the brand

today the glow range of soap & glory consists of 7 products



last but not least, the part the makes me smile the most as a product developer: stellar consumer reviews

some quotes of my favourite customer reviews:

I have never tried Soap & Glory products before, I was in my local Boots and saw this so done a quick search online of what it was and decided to purchase it. Long story short, I love this product.

It’s surprisingly effective in removing all kinds of makeup and gentle on the skin. I have sensitive skin and it doesn’t cause any breakout. Will definitely repurchase this.

I've never used Soap and Glory products before
, but I was looking for a facial exfoliation product that wasn't too pricey. OH MY GOSH. My skin is so smooth and glowing. I absolutely love it.
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