Removery – designing the world’s leading laser tattoo removal service.

  • 2020

  • Design Strategy

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Normanby Capital

Designed In:


Specialist 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. We took a strategic approach to end-to-end service design, combining contextual human-centred-design, quantitative research and co-design methods.

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  • Our client was looking to scale rapidly from 34 to 200+ clinics and required a strategic design partner to drive greater value and reduce risk of rapid growth. Normanby Capital 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 identify best clinical and operational practices across the group, codifying these into a consistent, high quality service. We were also tasked with designing a market leading value proposition, one that connects with customer needs and supports staff recruitment and retention through purpose and values.

  • We designed an exceptional laser tattoo removal service, a system to deliver this consistently at scale, and facilitated change to support the new venture. We helped our client: align on a shared and sustainable vision; uncover new opportunities and design solutions which create greater value and reduce risk; codify best practice; create a new unified and purpose driven culture; support leaders and staff through change. To operationalise the new service we designed tangible outputs including: service blueprints; CX playbook; operational and clinical protocols; educational materials; clinic fit-out specifications; and staff training. This culminated in forming the new brand - Removery.

  • Tattoo removal can be an intensely emotional journey, giving individuals control over their physical representation. We’ve sought to remove barriers, allowing more people access to this service. An initiative built into the service was the Giveback Program, removing tattoos that impede individual’s careers or lives for free. The new service considers both experience, and efficiency. Measures such as combining Treatment and Consult rooms decrease appointment times and puts clients at ease. A series of small interventions and large process redesigns have resulted in a seamless, highly scalable experience that improves service quality while minimising operational costs and driving profitability.

  • Immersive Engagement Throughout this project we fully immersed ourselves in the lives and stories of staff, customers and leadership of this new business. We sought to understand their experience within their workplace, as well as the emotional journey they go through with the customer. We interacted frequently with the leadership team, to demonstrate the value of strategic service design throughout the process. Culture Change for Service Alignment Company differences were clear, so the shift to a single brand and an aligned service required redefining their culture, as well as their operations. Normanby had assembled the strongest leaders from across the 3 companies to establish this new brand, however these individuals came from vastly different experiences and ways of working. A large part of our role as strategic design partner was in cultivating a culture that acknowledged differences, while celebrating their aligned values. Capability Building Operationalising this design-led restructure required multi-level engagement. In Austin we facilitated workshops to share human-centred design approaches to developing future protocols. Additionally, emerging leaders within Removery spent 2 weeks in Australia at our office participating in the Tobias Training program, arming them with human-centred design basics to return to America as design champions within the company.