A front-runner in the hygiene product sector sought to pivot their research and development (R&D) strategy to align with the evolving consumer needs in the infection prevention space post-COVID-19 pandemic. This shift was driven by increased consumer demand for antimicrobial and hygienic products, prompting the client to consider incorporating multiple benefits and robust infection protection into their existing product line, including hand washes, body washes, soaps and sanitizers. The objective was to identify potential consumer needs within infection prevention and strategize their R&D investments to capitalize on the most profitable and brand-aligned opportunities.
To achieve this, we undertook exhaustive research to identify gaps in the client's product portfolio, analyze competitor actions, and discover potential opportunities within the industry. The research also encompassed the study of industry mega-trends like changing infection patterns, driving factors, and challenges in infection prevention. By forecasting future trends and combining this analysis with the client's current research and capabilities, the aim was to develop products that met daily personal care needs and provided pharmaceutical-grade protection against infections. The ultimate goal was to ensure the client stayed ahead of the curve, met evolving consumer needs, and maintained its leading position in the hygiene product industry.
The post-COVID period has brought about significant changes in consumer behaviour and expectations. According to McKinsey & Company report “How COVID-19 is changing consumer behaviour?” Behaviour changes will reshape consumer decision journeys, and companies must adapt fast. Consumers are now more conscious of hygiene and seek products that offer antimicrobial properties and additional benefits like skin cleansing and care. If the client fails to adapt to these changing expectations, it may lose its customer base to competitors who meet these evolving needs.
In the contemporary market landscape, consumers are actively pursuing products that possess the capacity to address their diverse range of requirements, encompassing infection prevention, skin benefits, and overall health advantages within a single offering. Furthermore, they are strongly inclined towards real and tangible outcomes resulting from product usage. Consequently, the hygiene product industry grapples with the formidable task of effectively delivering multifaceted benefits to consumers in skin cleansing.
To mitigate these problems, this leading hygiene brand needs to identify and understand the evolving consumer needs, prioritize the most profitable ones that align with the brand's values, and develop an R&D roadmap focusing on innovation and meeting these needs.
Our approach included the following:
- An extensive analysis of industry trends.
- A gap analysis of the client's product portfolio.
- An assessment of competitor strategies.
We also identified white spaces for industry and opportunities that client could exploit.
We comprehensively reviewed the infection prevention industry, examining factors such as globalization, science and technology developments, product innovations, climate change, and lifestyle changes. Our sources included:
- Recent patent innovations.
- Scientific research.
- Clinical studies & trials.
- New product launches.
- Governmental agencies like WHO.
- Industry expert opinions .
We also analyzed thousands of patents and scientific literature to understand the industry's key trends in science and technology.
We categorized the identified trends into short-term achievable goals and long-term, high-priority targets requiring significant R&D investment. In addition, we have successfully pinpointed optimal consumer benefit areas that align perfectly with our client's product portfolio. This comprehensive analysis has allowed us to identify opportunities for our client to enhance their existing product offerings or venture into new product categories. Building upon this valuable insight, we have developed a meticulously crafted strategic roadmap for the brand, encompassing both short-term and long-term objectives. By aligning our client's business goals with these strategic initiatives, we position ourselves to drive sustained growth and maximize market potential.
Based on the results matrix, we provided a strategic solution workshop to build an Innovation Roadmap that the clients would implement during the next five years.
The primary benefit for the client was gaining a broader perspective of the industry, including what competitors and other players in the market were doing. This project expanded their horizons and provided valuable insights into the industry landscape they needed to know.
By understanding the challenges and opportunities in the market, the client was able to save time by focusing their efforts on specific directions for the next five years.
They prioritized goals based on their existing capabilities and identified areas that required further investment research and development, estimating a timeline of five years for the more extensive projects.
The project resulted in a well-defined R&D roadmap for the client, targeting the most promising consumer benefits while aligning with the brand's values and capabilities. The new strategy allowed the client to strengthen its market position and better meet the changing needs of its consumers in the post-COVID era.
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