Case Study

A men’s hair care brand in Japan uses sponsored ads to help scale business

men’s hair care brand in Japan

LIPPS, a large franchise in Japan for men’s hair care, is known for salons across renowned fashion districts in Tokyo. Besides their salons, the company also makes their popular hair care and styling products accessible to customers nationwide. In 2015, the brand started selling products in the Amazon store, but over time—and without an active marketing strategy—their sales stagnated.

Breaking the status quo

Mikitake Nagashima, a director at LIPPS who oversees the product and online sales business, knew the LIPPS product line had strong customer reviews and repeat purchases, but he believed the brand was missing opportunities to connect with new and potential customers who weren’t yet familiar with their products. Nagashima looked to Amazon Ads to help increase the brand’s reach, and also touch up their product listings in the Amazon store to break the brand out of the status quo and help fuel sales growth.

“When we used Amazon Ads as part of our strategy, on top of refreshing the product description and images on the product detail pages, we saw our sales pick up,” he said.

How LIPPS used Amazon Ads solutions

LIPPS’s preferred Amazon Ads solution, Sponsored Products, include easy-to-create cost-per-click ads that promote products sold in the Amazon store, which LIPPS uses to help generate sales. In addition, they’re using Sponsored Brands to help raise brand awareness. Lastly, they use Sponsored Display to help promote the brand anywhere customers spend their time during sales events. To increase the effectiveness of their ads, LIPPS groups the products they promote by relevance and create unique keyword strategies for each. Furthermore, they regularly fine-tune product images and videos, which contribute to their products’ appeal. Moving forward, LIPPS intends to accelerate their investment in Sponsored Brands, as brand building remains their top priority.

The ease of managing ads

Nagashima said that running Amazon Ads is accessible. “Amazon Ads solutions have been easy and smooth to run. Initially, I was managing both the advertising work and sales and product planning in tandem,” he said. “But the [ads] management console was so user-friendly that this did not feel like too much work.”

The performance measurement available in the advertising console also helped Nagashima get the necessary numbers to persuade internal stakeholders when securing a budget.

How LIPPS evolved to accommodate change

As the LIPPS commitment to Amazon’s retail store and its ads management grew, they hired a manager dedicated to overseeing their ads.

Having a dedicated employee manage the brand’s ads was a breakthrough, Nagashima said.

“Having a person in charge internally has helped us operate our ads more effectively, and our return on ad spend [ROAS] has improved as a result,” he said. “On Amazon, there are various initiatives and seasonal shopping events, so it helps drive our sales when there’s someone who can focus on optimizing ads for these events.”

Let your products shine

Nagashima encourages brands with strong product appeal to give Amazon Ads a try. “The more confident companies are in the appeal of their product, the more the reason to give advertising a try,” he said. “Whenever you try something new, you’ll inevitably face issues, but I believe a combination of product appeal and using Amazon Ads can help you achieve the results you want.”

Success has no borders

Since running Amazon Ads, LIPPS saw a 2x to 3x growth in sales.1 And their growth hasn’t stopped there. The brand’s mission is to set the standard beauty culture for men in Japan, and also around the world as LIPPS hopes to soon roll out overseas. As for advertising with Amazon Ads, Nagashima intends to continue running as long as the brand’s advertising cost of sales (ACOS) makes business sense. When LIPPS goes global, Amazon Ads will be there to help raise awareness of this men’s beauty brand.

Sound like the story of your brand?

1 Advertiser-provided data, Japan, 2019-2022