Successfully disrupting an established global market can of course be a huge challenge… but also a vastly rewarding one. The key is to focus on an established marketplace that’s ripe for innovation and identify ways to satisfy unmet consumer needs. Right now, I’m really excited about the innovation disruption that’s rippling through one space in particular – beauty and personal care.

Disruptive innovation in fluid delivery for wet shaving

More specifically, I’m interested in what the established CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies in that sphere are up to. Many of the big names that made the bulk of their billions from creams, lotions and formulations – I call it goop – are adding devices and services to their product offerings.

This ‘device plus chemistry’ movement is making its presence felt in areas such as home care and beverages as well as oral care and beauty. Brands are seizing on the opportunity to use devices to improve the application and use of formulations and/or increase their efficacy. More than that, a device has the potential to become central to a digital service model that promotes consumer experience and brand engagement. This makes the experience more personalized, while allowing the brand to benefit from tracking and monitoring of use.

The word ‘device’ can cover a wide variety of items. You could think of it as something as simple as a mascara wand, or as complex as a system that uses light and heat stimulation to dilate pores and promote the absorption of a cream. It could also be a system that mixes the ingredients of a formulation at the point of dispense to enable shelf stability or provide performance advantages.

The traditional CPG companies are of course experts in formulation development, but not necessarily adept in device and digital ecosystem development, manufacture and sales. These are areas of strength here at Cambridge Consultants, and we’re busy applying our knowledge to other device plus chemistry opportunities in other market areas.

To deepen our understanding and build on our track record in fluid delivery, we recently explored the potential for innovation in a particularly well-established and competitive marketplace – wet shaving. As usual, we took a multifaceted approach with a combined team of engineers, designers and business analysts. We find that the ‘one plus one equals three’ synergy of a multidisciplinary group is a powerful asset to unlock breakthroughs.

Evaluating the CPG potential

Our ebook, Disruptive innovation in fluid delivery for wet shaving has details of the project, which paired technology innovation with market understanding. Our designers identified key pain points in the shaving experience and pinpointed device plus chemistry opportunities to enhance the user experience. Engineers worked to overcome the main microfluidic and architectural challenges presented by each opportunity, allowing our analysts to evaluate the business potential for a CPG company.

The technology and expertise at play here is applicable to common challenges across markets, from cosmetics to consumer healthcare and homecare products. If the device plus chemistry approach is interest to you, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email. I’d be more than happy to discuss the topic in more depth.

Click here to read the eBook

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Ruth Thomson
SVP, Global Consumer Business

Ruth works with consumer brands across multiple market sectors including beverages, beauty, consumer healthcare and entertainment. Her focus is creating consumer delight and engagement through the integration of innovative technology, bringing significant business transformation for her clients.

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