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Breakthrough Growth Strategy for New Business Lines

GUM’s Growth Strategy for New Business Lines and Existing Products

Our challenge was to create an innovation pipeline to support the overall growth strategy for GUM, a leading provider of oral care products, including toothbrushes, and dental soft picks. GUM is owned by Sunstar Group, with total revenues of approximately $1.4Billion in 2019.

First, we were to look at growth strategy for new business lines. We were specifically looking beyond refining the current products to include new and superior ways to eliminate or disrupt plaque. These would compete with or substitute for adult brushing behavior.

The goal was to use the innovative pipeline products combined with the existing base business growth to drive total organic growth for the brand.

Breakthrough Growth Strategy for New Business Lines

Our Approach to Growth Strategy for New Business Lines

The growth strategy approach included three rounds of external expert and consumer inputs.

  1. In-depth conversations with 17 adults ages 20-50, with a primary focus of identifying pain points and issues, and a secondary focus of specific concept ideas
  2. An ideation session with 10 experts from a range of disciplines, focused on beginning concept ideas
  3. An ideation session combining four innovation experts with nine young adult consumers ages 18-24, who were recruited for creativity and articulation.  Focus was on new product concepts

From these approaches to growth strategy for new business lines, over 300 ideas were generated, with 42 selected for further screening.

Problem Areas for Consumers Create Starting Points for Innovation to Drive Growth Strategy

Starting pain point and problem areas for consumers included:

  • Not long-lasting
  • Difficulty cleaning:
    • Between teeth
    • Below gum
    • Back of mouth
    • Soft tissue (tongue, cheeks, gum)
  • Catalysts for cleaning:
    • Morning mouth
    • Lodged food
    • Bad breath
  • Gums tender/receding
  • Time required
  • Number of tools
  • Flossing difficulty/uncomfortable
  • Inability to tell when clean

Growth Ideation Platforms

Eight starting growth ideation platforms were explored with experts and customers:

  1. Plaque prevention
  2. Comfort
  3. Damage avoidance
  4. Convenience
  5. Strong healthy gums
  6. Cleaning “deep clean”
  7. Cleaning “pinpoint”
  8. Cleaning “everyday”

From the 42 finalist ideas, 10 were selected for further development in this growth strategy for new business lines.  The most productive area was plaque disruption, with ideas ranging from tooth sprays to nano hygiene and more. Two innovative examples are shown below:

Tooth Spray:  A small bottle or lipstick-size container of spray.  Simply spray on the teeth or in the mouth.  The tongue distributes the active ingredient as it covers the teeth and seeps in between teeth while removing plaque.  No water is required, as the spray can be swallowed.

Nano-Hygiene:  Disposable mouth trays loaded with nano-bristles and foam (bacteria bait, whitening, and flavor).  Consumer inserts, makes slight grinding motion, removes and disposes.

Growth strategy for new business lines requires an innovative approach to identify breakthrough ideas. Only through rigorous research could we have identified the possibilities we did for GUM.

Contact us if your organization is looking for innovative and breakthrough growth strategy.