Cosmetic Innovation 07 – Creating disruptive ideas

Here was an interesting article about innovation and creating disruptive ideas. The cosmetic industry is definitely in need of some disruptive ideas. Unfortunately, the big companies are risk adverse and any idea that is really disruptive likely won’t see the light of day. That is why it is up to the entreprenureial cosmetic chemist to create disruption.

Note – Odds are high that your disruptive idea will fail.

Anyway, if that doesn’t discourage you read on to see how you can develop innovative disruptive ideas for the cosmetic industry.

Disruptive ideas

The Mashable author suggests three steps to creating disruptive ideas.

1. Figure out what you want to disrupt
2. Figure out the industry cliches
3. Come up with a disruptive hypotheses

Let’s look at how this might work in the cosmetic industry.

What do you want to disrupt?

In this step you want to define what you want to disrupt. This should be high level stuff. For example, hair care or skin care. But you can get more specific. Hair products for curly hair or skin products for senior citizens. Then turn it into a sentence.

“I want to disrupt the hair care market.”

Determine the cliches

Figure out what are the things about the cosmetic industry that everyone (insiders) believe or takes for granted. In the hair care example…

1. Shampoo must foam
2. Hair products make hair look beautiful
3. Hair products come in plastic bottles
4. Hair products are advertised using women with beautiful hair.

Do a little research and see what everyone in the industry is doing. Checking out websites of the biggest brands and finding similarities is a great way to make this list.

Create disruptive hypotheses

Now that you have your list of obvious things that everyone does, come up with ideas that disrupt the status quo. It is helpful to begin with the statement “What would happen if…” For example,

“What would happen if shampoo didn’t foam?” – Like Dry Shampoo perhaps?

“What would happen if hair products couldn’t be sold in plastic bottles?” – How would you sell them?

Well, you get the idea. The more scenarios you come up with, the more disruptive ideas you can create. And the more ideas you have, the more likely you are to come up with something that is truly unique.

That is what the cosmetic industry needs and you are the ones who need to do it.

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