This week I attended an amazing trend presentation at a Fragrance House where they shared how the fine fragrance world could be influenced by flavor trends from the food world. It was an exciting and thought-provoking session that got me to thinking about how you can push the boundaries of innovation for a brand by seeking inspiration from adjacent or even completely different industries.
You already see the food world pervading the beauty industry with things like Aveeno’s Body Yoghurt or Farmacy’s Honey Potion. With the widespread infiltration of the wellness trend across product categories, this borrowing of ingredients, language and design from other places helps brands be more disruptive in today’s cluttered world.
When I worked on Deodorant packaging for Degree/Rexona Men we worked with Pininfarina – perhaps most famous for designing Ferrari cars. The thought of working with someone like that filled us with enthusiasm because we were working on a brand that was trying to focus on appealing to a male aesthetic. Seeing their process and the ultimate design you can see the influence of car design into their packaging solution. The result in my mind is truly disruptive and not only that but absolutely plays into an aesthetic that we were aiming for.
I remember also thinking about borrowing from other industries when we brainstormed for new claims. For example a claim around Dove Deodorant containing the same moisturizing ingredients you find in high-end facial skin care, or Degree deodorant leveraging the same technology that NASA uses. The very exercise of thinking outside of the box about what’s inside the product and how else it may be used was something that can lead to truly impactful and differentiated claims.
There are some well-published examples out there surfacing this approach. For example, more than a decade ago, 3M developed a breakthrough concept for preventing infections associated with surgery after getting input from a theatrical make-up artist who was knowledgeable about preventing facial skin infections.
The benefits of borrowing ideas from other industries to inspire work in another are clear. Next time you have an opportunity and space to get creative it may be worth thinking about how to inject this thought into your session? Who knows where it can take you…