Injecting energy into product innovation

Increasing toothpaste penetration through innovation.

Established brands face the constant challenge of increasing market penetration and delivering profitable growth; a challenge that only increases over time.

Understanding where the opportunities exist and how these can be leveraged is a key function for insight.

This was the challenge posed to us by the Unilever oral care team, who were seeking to increase penetration for their toothpaste brands amongst lower SEG audiences in developing markets.

In particular, the Unilever team needed to understand what the ideal format and price point should be for an audience who have little in the way of disposable income.

In-depth ethnographic encounters gave the Unilever team a complete picture of the role played by oral hygiene in their audience’s households, including brushing routines and frequency of toothpaste usage.

Exploring household finances, along with an accompanied shop, gave the team a strong understanding of the costs involved in toothpaste purchase and a clear view of the competitive set currently on offer in each of the markets.

By combining all of this information we were able to provide the Unilever team with a complete picture of the cultural, economic and personal drivers and barriers to toothpaste purchase.

This enabled us to devise an ideal format and packaging solution for the Unilever team to take to market.

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