How does Speed Stick transform from bottom-shelf follower to premium innovation leader?
After revolutionizing the category with the first stick deodorant, Men’s Speed Stick had fallen behind on all fronts. As category mega-brands—Axe, Gillette, Dove and Old Spice—invested heavily to forge strong bonds with Millennial men, Speed Stick continued to launch me-too products with little marketing support. If Speed Stick was going it to survive, the value brand had to up its ante on innovation, launching a pipeline of premium products that would stand out at shelf and connect with twenty-something men who long left the brand behind.
To avoid self-indulgent innovation and one-off fragrance extensions, Speed Stick’s innovation pipeline had to be built from the outside-in and from ground up. So, we designed research that took us into the homes of twenty-something men where we discovered true, unmet needs that served as the foundation for innovation territories. We hosted co-creation sessions to ideate with consumers, resulting in 30 innovation ideas. These ideas were then optimized using our proprietary Speed-Dating methodology before being placed in a quantitative BASES screen where 70% of the ideas received strong scores to advance towards a successful pipeline.