Unilever adopted the agility of a start-up to deliver a natural, premium hair care and skin cleansing line.
ApotheCARE Essentials, Unilever's first new brand of its kind in the last few decades, targets the growing number of consumers seeking natural beauty products. Unilever tapped a core team of about five people to develop and launch the brand in just over a year.
Creating a new product typically takes about 20 people and two to three years, said Piyush Jain, Unilever's vice president of hair care and fouding member of ApotheCARE Essentials.
Unilever and other consumer giants like Procter & Gamble have fielded criticism that their sprawling corporate structures encourage bureaucracy and hinder innovation. They face pressure from smaller brands attracting consumers who crave new, natural and premium products.
"The marketplace is evolving so rapidly and there are so many different business models and new brands coming in it's exciting that we as Unilever are piloting some of the new trends and even leading the trends," Jain said.