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Shiseido Targets High School Students in Japan With New Brand

Insights and feedback from target customers will directly influence the products the company develops.

TOKYO — Shiseido revealed Tuesday that it is launching a new brand that aims to respond to the needs of female high school students in an interactive, feedback-driven manner.

The new brand, called Posme, was developed by Shiseido’s Innovation Design Lab, which launched a year ago with the goal of helping to move the company. Posme is an amalgamation of the words “post” and “me,” reflecting the importance of social media among the digital natives it is targeting.

Posme products are developed together with a team of high school aged girls, dubbed Posme & Co., who provide Shiseido with information on their needs, as well as feedback on existing products and prototypes. The first product in the line is a multifunctional makeup item that gives customers the freedom to experiment with different looks, without making much of a commitment.

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Play Color Chips are small squares with peel-off plastic coverings revealing a sample-sized amount of makeup product that can be applied using a fingertip to eyes, cheeks and lips. They will be sold in packs of six (priced at 300 yen, or $2.70, per pack). The packaging features cute, cartoon-like drawings of shoes, handbags, perfume bottles and more.

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The product was developed based on feedback from members of Posme & Co., who said that they wanted to be able to experiment with different makeup looks for different events, but that having product left over was wasteful. The color chips are also extremely portable, easily fitting between a smartphone and its case, or in between the pages of a notebook or agenda.

When Play Color Chips hit the Japanese market on Jan. 26, eight colors will be available, followed by eight more on Feb. 23, and an additional five on March 16. There are no plans for an international launch at this time.

Additional Posme products will be developed based on the insights of Posme & Co., but they won’t necessarily all be cosmetic products. Shiseido said Posme will work with other companies to create a license business, meaning the possibilities for future products are wide ranging. A spokesman for the company said they could include anything from colored contact lenses and electronic products to sweets and textiles.

In the Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo, Shiseido has set up a space called Posme Lab, where girls can go to share ideas and give feedback to Posme staff. The space is temporary, but will be open on Fridays through Sundays for at least a year, at which point the team will reevaluate its effectiveness. There is also a digital Posme Lab, a “creative platform” that can be used in much the same way.

In addition to being sold at Shibuya’s Posme Lab — in vending machines like the kind used to sell cheap toys at family-friendly restaurants and shopping malls — Posme Play Color Chips will be sold in drugstores and multi-category retailers. The company also plans for the brand to have a presence at various events targeting young people, including music and sports events.