Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Innovations from Unilever - Bigger, Better, Faster - 4D Model

Unilever's 4D Model

Unilever is using breakthrough technology to get bigger and better innovations into the market faster through its unique 4D Model.

The four Ds are Definition - Discovery - Design - Deployment
  •  The Definition of opportunity for brands from great science and technology
  •  The Discovery of the advances that will drive sustainable differentiation
  •  The Design of great products that build great brands
  •  Robust Deployment to the Regions

Open Innovation

Open Innovation & Technology Scouting
 - www.fdin.org.uk/.../Open%20Innovation%20Innovation%202010/

How does one realise Open Innovation capabilities and opportunities? 

A model created by Gene Slowinski is used by Unilever and many other companies.
- WANT – define company needs (strategy, objectives)
- FIND – scout parties (search, network, 3rd party scouting, collaborations)
- GET – engage with parties (IP, contracts, business models)
- MANAGE – build a business (integrate, sales, marketing, finance)

Recent New Products - Creative Combinations lead to unbeatable Customer Experience

1. Close Up Fire-Freeze toothpaste - Hot Product gives a cool experience
The heat of aromatic spices meets the most advanced cooling agents in the innovative formula for our most unusual toothpaste.
Unilever’s scientists have developed a unique toothpaste which combines a warming sensation that battles bad breath with long-lasting, cooling freshness.
The Fire-Freeze sensation
Fire-Freeze first delivers a mild, warm tingle while it cleans, thanks to chemosensory technology and extracts including eugenol, an oil found in cloves.
The heat then builds from a blend of aromatic spices and wintergreen, also known as methyl salicylate, a plant-derived product with a natural warming ability.

From hot to cold

Next comes an intense hit of icy freshness, a sensation Unilever scientists were determined to make last long after brushing.
The Fire-Freeze formula uses a patented technology – the longest-lasting cooling agent on the market – which offers up to ten times the power of other cooling molecules.
Zinc sulphate, an anti-malodour active which provides up to 12 hours of fresh breath, ensures the cool feeling lasts for hours. And a blend of menthol, peppermint and vanilla adds the finishing touch to the unforgettable flavour.

Effective results

Results indicate that using Close Up Fire-Freeze over four weeks reduces malodour significantly compared to a conventional gel toothpaste.
2. Tea with Cold Water - Idea to Product in 5 months !!

Lipton SunTea offers cool, refreshing tea made with water straight from the tap.
Brewing the perfect cup of Lipton tea is usually just a case of adding hot water and allowing the flavours to infuse. But Lipton’s SunTea range offers an entirely different concept – and its development presented quite a challenge for Unilever’s scientists.

Getting a great taste with cool water

To create Lipton SunTea, our R&D teams were tasked with delivering a tea bag that could brew quickly in cold water and give a delicious, fruity flavour.
Lipton has delivered delicious hot teas to people all over the world for decades, but getting the same result from cold water is something new.
Traditionally, hot water ‘activates’ tea leaves, but Lipton SunTea is optimally balanced for a great taste and refreshment when brewed and consumed cold.

Finding the right flavours

The teams worked with flavour house IFF to come up with three delicious options designed specifically to work wonders with cold water: Zesty Lemon & Lime, Exotic Peach & Mango, and Intense Mint Green Tea. Fruit inclusions completed the fruit experience of these teas. And their unique pyramid teabags allow the tea leaves room to move, infusing the water with plenty of taste and colour.

Specially treated tea

The balance of tea and fruit flavour in these cold infusions was key. Lipton R&D and tea blenders identified teas of East African origin, which are known for their good colour and taste generation in hot water, to provide a good brew in cold water. Working with their strategic supplier Martin Bauer, tea extracts were added to complement the tea and enhance the brew colour.  Martin Bauer’s thermal tea treatment was applied to their teas. The treatment minimises the risk of any microbiological contamination, given that hot water isn’t used to brew, and in turn sterilises Lipton SunTea.
Lipton SunTea went from a bright idea to a brand new product in just five months, and went on sale in France in 2011.
Key Takeaways
New Product Ideas - Look for unusual combinations - simultaneous hot & cold sensations, Tea with cold water - use technology to make these combinations possible - look for technologies and ideas across domains.
Product Innovations need to be driven by Opportunities - first engage the team in the Definition phase to articulate the Opportunity clearly. Next focus on the technology innovations that will differentiate these products - this is the focused discovery phase.

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