Case Studies

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Launching a technological breakthrough in the sleepy skin care category


A leading manufacturer of personal care consumer products was looking to infuse innovation into one of its core categories—skin care. The category had been quiet for years with no major technological breakthroughs, new brands, or even new product lines introduced into the marketplace. The majority of innovation in the category had been incremental at best—“flavor extensions,” packaging refinements, etc. Within its own portfolio, the company had an iconic brand in the hand and body lotion category, but it, too, had not launched a meaningful new product line in years. The brand enjoyed very high levels of consumer awareness, affinity, and other brand health measures, and the company believed it represented a natural platform for innovation growth.


The project, led by a current FullSurge partner in a previous role, began with the development of a formal new product strategy that included defining an innovation vision, financial growth goals, strategic objectives, and a set of key success factors with which to evaluate potential opportunities. With the “innovation playing field” defined, an extensive consumer usage exploratory was conducted, leveraging non-traditional qualitative research techniques to identify high potential unmet needs in the skin care category. At the same time, working closely with the company’s R&D department led to understanding emerging technologies and formulas that could be applied to potential new products. Following a robust needs discovery process, multiple iterative rounds of idea generation were conducted, leading to the development and testing of new product concepts. In order to determine which of the leading concepts should be pursued for market launch, thorough business case analysis was applied to the most promising new product concepts to understand the commercial and financial potential each represented for the company.


The project resulted in the first 24-hour moisturizing hand and body lotion in the market. The product was clinically proven to leave skin moisturized even 24 hours after initial use without requiring additional application. The new product introduction helped the brand reinforce its leadership position in the category by increasing its perception in product efficacy -- the perfect complement to a brand whose heritage was primarily in product aesthetics.


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