Removery – Design research backed transformation

  • 2021

  • Design Research

Designed In:


Removery is a laser tattoo removal service. It is the result of design research of people with tattoos, their perceptions, attitudes and reasons for tattoo removal. The research supported the smooth merger of three acquired laser tattoo businesses to become the biggest provider in the US.

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Image: Three companies were merged to create North Americas largest tattoo removal company. Design research helped understand how the companies could align best practice to create an ideal customer experience at scale and laid the foundation for the companies ambitions to expand into new markets with a new people centred operational model.
Image: Design research uncovered new information to creating a compelling value proposition that resonated with the market.
Image: Five weeks of field research across a broad geographic and demographic helped the business uncover new markets and innovation opportunities.
Image: We created innovative ways to express archetypes focussed on motivators and behaviour, a move away from traditional demographic based personas.
Image: Removery - Design research backed transformation
Image: Engaging artefacts help connect people to the research findings
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  • Healthcare investor Normanby Capital engaged Tobias to design a category-leading service for its US-based venture. Their goal was to build the world's largest laser tattoo-removal company, establishing a blueprint for global scale. Normanby merged 3 laser tattoo-removal companies with 34 sites across the US. They had very different cultures, operating practices, markets and brands. Our challenge was to deeply understand customer needs in relation to tattoo-removal, identify best clinical and operational practices across the group and codify these into a consistent, high quality service. Additionally define a value-proposition, that connects with customer needs and supports staff through purpose and values.

  • The depth of research the project achieved allowed us to identify best practice from across the group, codify the best possible service offering, and roll it out to drive a consistently high quality experience at scale. The design research, and accompanying assets, assisted Removery in operationalising an ideal customer journey, and is supporting their ambition of scaling to 200+ clinics in the US, Canada and Australia. To operationalise the new service we used the research insights to design tangible outputs including: service-blueprints; CX playbook; operational protocols; educational materials; clinic fit-out specifications; and staff training. The new brand, style-guide and tone-of-voice.

  • The new service considers both experience, and efficiency. Measures such as combining Treatment and Consult rooms decrease appointment times, as well as put clients at ease. Small interventions to large process redesigns have resulted in a seamless experience that improves service quality while minimising operational costs. A deep understanding of customers has helped define Removery's purpose and values and recognise the importance of the empathy, care and rapport building elements of the service. Tattoo removal can be an intensely emotional journey, giving individuals control over their physical representation. We've designed to remove barriers, giving more people access to this service.

  • Tattoo-removal is a relationship-centred industry, so a thorough understanding of its cultural and emotional intricacies was critical. 5 weeks of exploratory research across the US in 12 cities included: 38 customer interviews 47 in-clinic interviews 177 survey responses 26 staff interviews 36 stakeholder engagements 13 artist interviews Research mapped the experience from getting a tattoo, through each removal stage. For many, it's an emotional journey requiring phased service approaches. Findings translated into assets for staff to baseline understanding and adopt new ways of working. The service is designed to support the customer and staff through a long and transformational experience.