Japan’s No. 1 Hair Care Brand Uses Brightcove to Surge Video Engagement
Since 1965, Milbon has been supplying beauty salons with professional, high-quality products for healthy, beautiful hair. In Japan alone, over 500,000 stylists use Milbon brand hair care, including 2,000 signature products and 500 color treatments, to smooth, moisturize, and repair clients’ locks.
Nationwide, more than 230,000 salons carry its exclusive collections. In order to maintain consistent use and best practices across all locations, Milbon provides salon professionals the education necessary to master product application, technical skills, and innovative hair trends, ensuring customers receive the best hair treatments possible. Subsequently, stylists offer critical insight and feedback for Milbon’s beauty experts, which helps them to continually improve its products and hair care initiatives. This collaboration has proven successful—since 2000, Milbon has held the highest domestic market share of professional hair care products in Japan.
With such a massive customer base, Milbon realized digital video would be the best way to educate stylists and communicate product information effectively and efficiently. Following a period of trial and error, Milbon’s Educational Planning team decided to implement Brightcove’s Video Marketing Suite, which offered the perfect solution for superior video management, workflow efficiency, and customer engagement. The partnership was so rewarding, it resulted in a huge surge in viewership and brand visibility, highlighting Milbon as an inspiring leader within the beauty industry.
Video Proves the Best Solution for Communicating With Customers Across Japan
Because of Milbon’s geographically dispersed customer network, one that includes independent stylists, salons, and company-branded studios across Japan, it had to find a way to deliver easily accessible educational content in the most efficient way possible. After reviewing possible solutions, Milbon found that digital video was the answer to providing product expertise, technical guidance, and skills training to 500,000+ customers nationwide. Beyond accessibility, video also gave Milbon a multidimensional approach to teaching; it allowed customers to study precise technical instruction beyond static resources like pictures or text.
“If we want to communicate an application technique using our own coloring agent, one would need a considerable number of textbooks and photographs to tell how to divide the hair and apply it correctly,” says Atsushi Masuko, Head of Milbon’s Educational Planning Department. “It’s important to know the tools, like scissors and hands, and delicate movements of the hair to acquire beauty skills. The movement is important to accurately convey technical know-how. It’s not an overstatement to say it’s impossible to communicate this by photographs.”
In 2011, Milbon launched its free video channel, an ad-supported digital resource providing a visually dynamic educational environment for customers. With the channel, Milbon stylists could learn application and product use via video demonstrations and explanations. Accessible on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices, the channel not only served as a convenient teaching tool for those far away or on the go; it also gave Milbon a chance to communicate with repeat customers in search of follow-up instruction. One viewer even noted, “Since I can simulate the styling experience by video, I can learn skills more clearly, and I can better understand the product.”
Milbon Turns to Brightcove to Solve Key Video Concerns
As the video channel popularized, Milbon’s digital marketing team raised several key concerns. For one, the video platform proved less than practical in terms of data management. It was difficult to organize its numerous video assets, and as a result, viewers were having a hard time searching for specific videos. Also, the ad-supported channel featured irrelevant commercial content—advertisements were in no way applicable to the Milbon brand or its products. Third, in terms of technical prowess, the platform fell flat. Uploads were time-consuming, playback speeds were slow, and video performances were inconsistent at best. Finally, the platform offered zero analytical data, and Milbon’s video marketing team had no way to test creative output. Plus, adding an analytics function to the existing platform would be an expensive investment.
After five years and much consideration, Milbon refocused its video marketing efforts and adopted Brightcove Video Marketing Suite as its platform of choice, which provided an extremely manageable environment for video distribution. With the new technology, Milbon re-released its video channel on its own website and debuted the “Biyoushi Doga” app, a convenient, highly-efficient video platform for the company’s customers and digital marketers.
The impact was almost immediate. Masuko notes, “Right from the start, Brightcove’s platform was easy to work with and videos were easy to manage.” The user-friendly data management system allowed Milbon to dramatically increase its video production, subsequently driving viewership and overall engagement. Plus, the platform gave Milbon a radically enhanced player solution, boosting video upload times and playback speeds. But the most salient improvement overall was the access to Brightcove’s analytics. By studying the number of video views, completion rates, and other various metrics, Milbon’s digital marketers could use this information to better understand a video’s impact, thus leading to more relevant content creation.
Brightcove-Powered Video Results in Increased Market Share, 90% Completion Rates, and Double the Playbacks
In terms of investment return, Brightcove’s all-in-one video solution has proven a real game changer. No longer does Milbon worry about irrelevant ad-content; with Brightcove, Milbon hosts its channel on the company’s own website, therefore eliminating ads from competing businesses. As a result, Milbon has amplified its brand presence across various distribution points, including Milbon’s YouTube channel, web channel, and app. According to Masuko, the enhanced visibility has helped drive Milbon’s overall marketing penetration rate.
And because Brightcove’s platform provides a spectacular viewing experience for its videos, stylists and salon owners have really taken to the content. Since implementing Video Marketing Suite, the company has experienced a tremendous uptick in engagement—video playbacks have nearly doubled, and completion rates have steadied at 90%. That’s even the case with lengthier, three-minute videos.
Milbon’s digital strategists have also been able to measure viewer frequency rates, indicating which types of videos receive the most attention. In this case, “how-to” pieces have shown to be the most appealing. Masuko says, “The numbers we’ve received [from customers] and data analysis have been so useful for a variety of improvements.”
Milbon Sets Its Sights on Audience to Enhance Digital Marketing Analytics
With the overwhelming success of Brightcove’s Video Marketing Suite, Milbon continues to implement extra features, like Brightcove Audience to help drive marketing efforts even further. The Audience module will allow Milbon to sync its Brightcove video analytics with its marketing automation platform, resulting in detailed viewership data from contacts within its own customer database. Also, Milbon is planning to leverage the Brightcove platform again, making use of its multilingual captioning to reach overseas audiences.
“It’s now possible to display multilingual compatible subtitles in videos and distribute globally,” says Masuko. “We’d like to explore the possibility of delivering our educational services, products, and brand images to the world.”