Xing Ke Duo (星客多) or XKD, is a no-fuss haircutting service founded in 2015. A series A-funded startup with close to 50 stores in Shanghai and Beijing, XKD relied on its quality service, rapid expansion capabilities, and agile back-end development as a successful business model to grow the company.
However, as XKD expanded its footprint, its brand image and experience remained stagnant. XKD partnered with Continuum to develop a new brand and store design, explore ways to offer a holistic omni-channel experience, and create new revenue sources that would not disrupt its core service experience.
Research & Insights
Research & Insights
Immersed in the XKD Experience
By embarking on a rapid immersion field study of XKD’s stores in Shanghai and Beijing, the Continuum team uncovered, observed, and explored XKD’s core customers, current service gaps, and existing employee pain points. They then formulated a clear picture of XKD’s brand perception from a consumer’s perspective and completed a customer journey-mapping exercise to identify potential areas ripest for new signature experiential opportunities.
With new findings and potential opportunities identified, Continuum facilitated multiple workshops and discussions with XKD’s leadership to hone in on the “be better” brand strategy. This direction will help influence XKD’s organizational culture values and new service strategy. New touchpoints include the hair style selection guide, a hair style diary, and a self-serve styling bar to increase product sales. Together, these service features all help XKD differentiate its offering from competitors and increase the value for its customers.
To bring the experience to life, the Continuum team led the execution of a new brand strategy and translated it into implementable guidelines and criteria, which set forth a new direction for the retail space design, visual identity design, and new service protocol.
Since opening the 3.0 stores, customer retention had increased by 16%, meaning two out of three customers return to experience the service.
The first new concept store opened its door on August 2016 in Shanghai, and at the end of 2016, 16 new stores launched in both Shanghai and Beijing, with 20 more planned for the beginning of 2017. Since opening the 3.0 stores, customer retention had increased by 16%, meaning two out of three customers return to experience the service. The reception of and excitement for the new brand experience have been remarkable, the 3.0 stores and brand was also able to capture a larger female customers base, from 36% to 44% and rising. This signals the brand perception of XKD is moving toward a more beauty driven and sophisticated clientele.