How open innovation led Clorox to a new product line

By Julie Donnelly, Contributing Writer

cloroxJDJackie Amemiya’s team at The Clorox Company had a big idea: create a new category of cleaning products geared home caregivers for the elderly, a forgotten market segment. But Amemiya, a Director of Research and Development at the cleaning products company, quickly realized that Clorox’s existing innovation approach wasn’t going to cut it. At a session at the recent Front End of Innovation conference, Amemiya described how the $5.6 billion company retooled its research and development model to bring 20 new products to market, fast. The result was a new line called Clorox Care Concepts.

Amemiya said the company had experimented with open innovation before, but bringing this set of products to market was a milestone, in terms of Clorox’s level of engagement with consumers, health care professionals, retailers, and even government agencies.

The Clorox team started with three questions:


    1. “What’s needed?” (Consulted consumers, retailers and internal partners)
    2. “What’s hot?” (Consulted advisory boards, venture capitalists and startups, industry experts)
    3. “How to develop it?” (Consulted stakeholders including government agencies and suppliers)

Next, Amemiya said, the group identified a drill site, a specific idea, and an execution plan.

    Drill site – Baby Boomers are aging and want to stay at home, health care costs are rising, caregivers are exhausted but want to provide for their loved ones.

    ... continued ...

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