Case Studies / Sassoon

How Sassoon created a new revenue stream in the middle of lockdown

Pivoting the business model to create a valuable new digital service in the middle of lockdown.

In the middle of lockdown, we helped Sassoon Academy pivot their business model and create a valuable new revenue stream.


Sassoon Academy is globally recognized as the ultimate in hairdressing education, providing world-class education from academies in Santa Monica and London.

From world-renowned beginners courses to weekly and specialist courses, Sassoon Academy has inspired generations of professionals and provided a passport to building a successful career in the global hairdressing industry.

  • Globally recognized leader
  • Extensive range of courses
  • Brand strength for over 60 years


The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for companies in every sector, but the fashion & beauty industry suffered immensely from government-mandated lockdowns.

With Sassoon's academies closed, there was a business imperative to launch a digital service enabling customers to access their world-leading education through digital channels.

The vision was to create a new brand called "Sassoon Online" that would be an online education platform combining live events, webinars and videos. The biggest challenge was how to translate in-person education into a tangible digital offering

  • Global academies closed - Digital offering
  • Potential to create long term value
  • Hard to translate in-person learning into a digital offering
  • Critcial to uphold the high quality of the brand

London's Regent Street during lockdown
London's Regent Street during lockdown


To launch the new direct-to-consumer brand, Sassoon enlisted Graph to help drive the business model innovation through a service design process. Our goal was to deliver the new brand from concept to launch in under six weeks.

Prototyping the new service

Collaborating remotely with business stakeholders across the globe, we mapped out the customer journey and prototyped the new service using Figma.

We used Design Thinking to create a digital experience and a product that complements the existing brand, encourages continuous learning, and makes it more accessible. Our approach enabled us to better understand users' needs, rapidly prototype ideas and solutions and test prototypes with users, iterating on a weekly basis.

  • Research user needs.
  • Create design ideas in parallel.
  • Select best ideas and prototype in Figma.
  • Test prototypes with users
  • Iterate on a weekly basis.

Getting to market faster

To get to market quickly, we implemented Thinkific to manage course content and track enrolments.

On top of this, our engineering team deployed a full video-on-demand service with encoding workflows, adaptive streaming, and content protection technology to ensure a flawless and secure digital experience across all devices.

  • Course management: Thinkific
  • Payment: Stripe
  • Video streaming: Bitmovin

Activation & Launch

We helped Sassoon leverage their social media following and customer databases to promote the launch with introductory offers targeted at prospective students across all geographies.

Creative design concepts
Creative design concepts


The new digital service has enabled Sassoon Academy to successfully transform the business model, add a valuable new revenue stream, and deliver world-class education to any location worldwide.

  • 600,000+ enrolments (June 2020 - June 2021)
  • Six weeks concept to launch
  • Ten weeks return on investment
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