How to speed up your R&D process – and get to market faster

How can beauty brands successfully digitalise their R&D to cut time to market? The trick is to take things step by step, explains James Hutchinson

R&D is the backbone of consumer industries, creating the new products upon which a company's success ultimately relies. From skin creams to shampoos, research is at the heart of consumer products.

However, the world changes quickly. Colours and fragrances fall in and out of fashion. Useful chemicals are routinely discovered to have unwanted consequences and lose their appeal, while others soar in price as geopolitics shift.

Customers want their products to be more eco-friendly with reduced animal testing, while competitors are innovating and aggressively marketing just as fast as you are.

Data-driven marketing and market research teams can spot changes in consumer mood as they happen, but we often have to wait years for products to respond to these changes.

R&D departments and their digital counterparts are under pressure to do things a lot faster under increasingly constrained budgets. Effective use and reuse of data is critical to making smarter decisions and streamlining delivery.

Companies need to be able to react quicker to change. Every day that a previously bestselling product is out of favour can mean fortunes in lost revenue.

Being able to replace it with a more fashionable, sustainable, or cleaner alternative within weeks rather than months has a big impact on the bottom line. The upshot: more . . .

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