An Insights and Innovation Success Story: Bringing Waxes into the Home
At Edgewell, we are dedicated to making useful things joyful. In my role as the leader of the Global Innovation and Insights Team, part of contributing to our purpose is identifying global trends and consumer demands, partnering with our regional marketing teams to understand commercial opportunities, and the partnering with R&D to deliver new innovations that are meaningful to our consumers. I see our teams working toward this every day and it’s one of the many reasons I’m so proud to be here.
Specific to the area of waxes, we noticed over the years that hair removal sales in key markets were impacted by consumers who had moved to salons for alternate methods of hair removal. E-commerce wax offerings were mainly driven by hot waxes of various formats, which were largely under-represented in stores. Rather than in the aisles of their pharmacy or grocery store, consumers were looking to expert professionals for hot waxes, partly because they felt it was too complicated to do at home. Then when the pandemic hit, we noticed that consumers were pivoting to DIY (do-it-yourself) waxing methods as salons closed, but they were limited in options. Coming out of the pandemic lock-down, those DIY habits continued on, so the longer-term opportunity space quickly became apparent to us and we had to move fast.
As we started to develop the business opportunity, our insights team found that most of the on-shelf retail assortment was composed of ready-to-use cold wax strips. With this discovery we knew that the wax aisles were ripe for innovation and consumers were craving more options.
From here, the innovation and marketing teams brainstormed solutions that would be easy to use, affordable and preferential for consumers to do at home while still achieving professional results. As an example, we first recognized that hot wax roll-ons are widely used by salons and that expert professionals use a warming station that takes up space and is expensive. Given this, the team looked at ways we could make this same process possible at home – and that is how our Sugar Wax Roller was born!
Once we had our product concept identified, we then went through multiple rounds of tests to improve the product proposition. The team also conducted home-usage tests to make sure we delivered on performance.
One of the biggest challenges we faced was speed to market, requiring a short development timeline to launch while the opportunity space was still ripe for innovation. We worked with a co-manufacturer to develop for us a total of four SKUs in U.S. and six SKUs in Europe. In total, this resulted in 11 formulations and 25 pieces of artwork. This required laser sharp focus from all project team members in order to successfully launch on time, which, thanks to the team, we were able to do. The process shined a light on how each team member was genuinely and completely engaged and up for the challenge. It also demonstrated their ability to seamlessly and successfully work across functions to make all this happen.
With all this hard work, we were fortunate enough to see the products resonate with consumers on the sales and marketing side as well. In April of this year, we saw our Schick Hydro Silk Sugar Wax Roller had become the #1 selling wax both on Amazon.com and in physical retail stores1. That same product also went viral with 15M TikTok views from community sourced user generated content, as well as one of our most recent organic TikTok posts going viral with 3.2M views and counting.
At the core of my job, I aim to lead and inspire my team toward developing, revitalizing, expanding and evolving our well-known brands through specific consumer insights that result in successful, consumer-centric innovation. This wouldn’t be possible without an extremely talented and hardworking innovation and insights team. I am so proud of the work put into Schick Hydro Silk’s new line of waxes and it has been nothing but a joy to see how well its resonated with consumers across the globe.
To find out more about Schick Hydro Silk or purchase these new wax products, you can head to www.schick.com.
1IRI InfoScan, Multi-Outlet data for the 13wks ending 6/4/23.