Madison Reed has made a name for their brand by offering hair-color consultations without customers leaving their homes. Having almost two dozen color specialists on staff at their call center, they’ve made finding hair-color tips more convenient than ever before.
Improving upon this even further, the brand has recently launched a chatbot on Facebook designed to make recommendations based on uploaded selfies. This automated part of Facebook messenger uses visual recognition software in order to determine someone’s ideal hair-color from a two-year quiz spanning over 1.4 million profiles.
“This company’s hallmark is disrupting the industry by using technology to meet customers exactly where they are. If you look at what’s happening in cosmetics or skin care, whether it’s ColorIQ at Sephora or photo matching for skin problems at dermatologists, there is the beginnings of advanced undertakings,” stated Madison Reed founder and chief executive officer, Amy Errett. “We haven’t seen anything really happening in our hair-care category, and we thought we were the company to tackle it.”
Users are redirected to the bot, Madi, on Facebook Messenger by clicking on a Madison Reed ad on their news feed.
Some may doubt using automated responses based on photographs, but using pictures is one option Errett stated her licensed colorists currently use themselves before giving hair tips.
Errett also noted the ease at which she perceives users will be able to adapt to using Madi considering how common technology use is today.
“Regardless of the age group, they [customers] understand the camera on their mobile phone. We didn’t have to teach them a new behavior. It’s embedded in what they do everyday,” she stated. “Our customer is 100 percent on Facebook, and she’s used to seeing ads and content there.”
However, creating Madi didn’t reach it’s finished product without hurdles. Madison Reed chief technology officer, David King, noted the difficulty of having the bot operate using different types of lighting in uploaded photos.
“Matching what the camera saw to our color line was a challenge. We did that through brute force. We went through a lot of pictures and trained it,” he stated.
Madison Reed has also stated their intention to eventually bring Madi to an SMS text message format as well, though the Facebook equivalent is currently up and running.