The changing face of Oral Hygiene, helping start-ups compete with multi-nationals.
In the run to Christmas 2019 the launch of the Oral B Genius X has caused quite a stir in the Oral Hygiene industry. A first to market offering combining the knockout-punch of a connected toothbrush that can not only provide accurate feedback as to how we brush, but can then relay that information to dental practitioners allowing them to more accurately characterise, diagnose and treat patients. This is all enabled using the technological magic wand that is “AI”, removing the need for Dentists to undertake the repeated administrative and diagnostic data-capturing side of their profession, and instead they can concentrate on providing the services exclusive to medical professionals.
This has the hallmarks of being the rebirth of the toothbrush we all know and a reimagining of oral healthcare as a practise for which Procter and Gamble should be applauded. However, it is not a new concept by any means. It was in fact a business strategy developed in-house for one of our clients at InDev (Innovation Development Solutions Ltd. for all those who don’t know) back in 2016. A concept that was, in no small part, supported by our sister supply chain and manufacturing company One Point-Zero.
We were initially briefed by the client to simply design, develop and manufacture a high-end toothbrush range for sale through his chain of south-east England based dental practices. This was a simple enough project, but one that left a lot to be desired from a business development standpoint, simply the idea itself wasn’t overly “fresh”. We began working with the client on developing new business strategies, allowing the brand created and the sale of his product line to extend beyond the walls of his practices and into the retail sector, both online and through brick and mortar stores.
The opportunity became apparent through benchmarking against established lifestyle grooming brands, such as Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club. However, a subscription model, although fresh back in 2016 was not enough to create the new revenue streams and market disruption that would deliver maximal growth for our client’s business. Through detailed analysis of the market and profiling of a wide range of dental practices, we found that by creating revenue streams for the dental practice as a result of not only promoting, but by using “AI” to deliver both diagnostic aids, as well as service provision recommendations for each and every user. This provided additional revenue for the practice, allowed the dentist to be proactive in caring for their patients and provided the very best possible care for the brands’ customer base.
This all sounded too good to be true, but in fact it was only a start-point. The hardware products developed for the brand were entirely sustainable in that they were guaranteed for life and were designed to be returned for servicing, as required, which is part of the customers’ subscription. The replaceable brush heads were even designed to be composted, removing the need for landfill that afflicts the industry (All toothbrushes and brush heads made by major brands have all ended up in landfill since the inception of the industry).
The business is still in development and is actively seeking support from a forward-thinking investor, allowing the brand to launch in 2020, exceeding the level of performance delivered by “Genius X”. This can be done with a considerably smaller environmental footprint, delivering the highest standard of oral healthcare whilst helping the planet. This shows what can be achieved when clients who are open to innovation and driving change, work with leading design to create something relevant, disruptive and socially contributive. We helped our client beat the “Big Three” brands to the punch by 3 years, and with our ongoing support are helping to evolve the oral hygiene market through strategic, technical innovation, speed to market and accelerated forward execution.