Reckitt drives product innovation with data and insights from Skai
CPG, Consumer Health
Reckitt enriches its proprietary insights platform with data from Skai to support new product innovation
Reckitt is home to the world’s best-loved and trusted hygiene, health and nutrition brands including Dettol, Durex, Strepsils, Scholl and Veet. The company prides itself on delivering innovative self-cure and self-care solutions to help consumers live better, healthier lives. It recognizes that achieving this aspiration relies largely on the ability to identify, track and respond to emerging consumer needs—which is where Skai’s relationship with the North American Health division began.
Ambitious category growth targets require more insights
Reckitt has an ambitious objective to grow its vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) portfolio over a five-year period. Recognizing that new product innovation—fueled by insights into emerging ingredients and white space opportunities—was key to driving success, the central analytics team spent two years building its own insights platform. The goal was for the business to use the platform to validate emerging ingredients both from a scientific lens and commercial opportunity perspective.
The internal tool, which aggregates review data from Amazon and sales data from IRI, gave the VMS team great insights into which products were selling online. However, the business teams also wanted to be able to understand why specific products and ingredients were selling, and more importantly, which ingredients and products would be the next blockbuster. Armed with these views, Reckitt knew that it would better fulfill its new brand promise of dynamic, agile business operations and innovative, first-to-market products.
This prompted a review of additional data sources that would further enrich the existing insights. Like many companies in the early stages of a data transformation journey, the central analytics team sought to understand what additional data sets were required to get to these valuable outcomes—and how that data could be integrated into their existing system and made readily available for teams to validate their next big opportunities.
Working with Skai, the team understood that drivers of innovation could be gleaned from external data such as consumer reviews, scientific research, key opinion leaders, forums, blogs, patent filings and more. Having established the data sets relevant to their business, Reckitt was able to integrate them (already connected and contextualized) into the platform using Skai’s API solution.
Ganesh Sivakumar, Head of Data & Analytics explained: “Trying to connect this many new and different external data sources into our existing system would have taken us years! Signals Analytics has done all of the hard work by collecting, categorizing and contextualizing all of the data relevant to the VMS ecosystem, giving us a more holistic view of what’s happening in our category.”
With these additional sources complementing the existing data, Reckitt can make forward-looking decisions based on early consumer and market signals into upcoming trends, rather than relying on historical, post-purchase data. Skai is unique in its ability to identify trends right down to the attribute level (e.g. by features, benefits, or ingredients) due to the way in which the data is classified around curated taxonomies. Combined with the application of predictive analytics, this gives Reckitt the ability to answer the million-dollar question: “Which ingredient will be the next big seller?”
“Our own, home-grown solution is a very powerful tool. But with the addition of Signals Analytics data we are able to provide much richer insights and answer questions with new levels of granularity and insight.”
-Ganesh Sivakumar, Head of Data & Analytics at Reckitt
Going from Insight to Impact: understanding unmet needs through the eyes of the consumer
Reckitt was considering the development of a new gummy product and wanted to assess the market opportunity for a particular ingredient. Using the original Amazon + IRI data from within the internal platform, the team saw that sales of a competitive gummy already using this ingredient were declining but had very little insight into why. Only with the addition of Skai’s consumer data did they learn there was negative sentiment around how its competitors gummy tasted and its digestibility. However, and most importantly, they spotted a big spike in positive sentiment around the ingredients association with immune health—a benefit that saw 61% increase in consumer discussions throughout 2020.
The team concluded that there was more room in the market for another gummy product with this particular ingredient and were able to score individual claims, benefits and features which they could capitalize on if they ultimately decided to launch their own.