Speaking to Asian Scientist Magazine, Yuko Nakamura, global director for skin care R&D, went into detail on the major region-specific trends for which brands should be catering.
She picked out a focus on high-level product performance, wide product variation, anti-ageing items which tackle pigmentation issues, climate- and hair type-specific hair care offerings, and personalisation for the individual consumer’s demands.
“Consumers don’t want to buy our scientific understanding; consumers want to get a solution. Therefore, we need a whole range of scientific innovation, what we call end-to-end innovation,” Nakamura explained to the publication.
Across the board, Asian consumers want solutions to their personal care and beauty demands: Nakamuru explained that although a level of R&D expertise is valued and recognised by consumers, the end-result product offering will always be the key differentiator between brands.
“Formulation, which can be either a combination of technologies or providing a sensorial feel which consumers enjoy, or packaging innovations, which a product easy or fun to use, are also important steps in product development,” she stated
P&G’s Asia innovation
P&G, practicing what it preaches, has been investing in research and development in the APAC region.
In 2014, the company opened its ‘Singapore Innovation Centre’, which looks to conduct research into consumer preference, new technologies and packaging design.
Alongside this, also within Singapore, P&G have joined a network of research institutions called the ‘Master Research Collaboration Agreement’, which will invest (S)$60 million in collaborative research.
Given the company’s ongoing cost-cutting plan, which began in 2012 and the target of which having just doubled to USD $20 billion, whether P&G’s strong investment into R&D will now continue to such an extent remains to be seen.