The Art of Innovation

According to Michael O’Bryan; “The overuse and generalization of the term ‘innovation’ has led to a loss of understanding of what it is we mean when we say we need more innovation....

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According to Michael O’Bryan; “The overuse and generalization of the term ‘innovation’ has led to a loss of understanding of what it is we mean when we say we need more innovation. We lose sight of the specific skills and behavior needed to be innovative. The word has been overused to the point that discussion has become circular, “to be innovative, we have to encourage innovation.” However, despite the hypocrisy, we need to be innovative about our use of the word innovation.

While Michael makes a strong point regarding the use of the word innovation, the level of innovation is a key driver in the Beauty & Personal Care market.  If you need proof, then we invite you to look at the following two charts show below. 

The number of unique launches recorded by Mintel was plotted against Euromonitor’s total sales estimate for the United States for both the color cosmetic and skin care sub-segments of the Beauty market from 2016 – 2020.  While correlation does not necessarily equate to causation, the data does suggest that the level of innovation is tied to growth or decline of sales.  This correlation made us re-examine our views of innovation, as we knew that our prior tagline – The Laboratory of Beauty – did not accurately represent our recent R&D efforts.

What we found out was our innovations predominately started out as an idea or concept.  Just as a painter, musician, or writer formulates an idea and then turns that idea into reality, true innovation starts with ideation.  Moreover, the concept of creating art ties in with Sensient’s philosophy regarding innovation and product development.  Finally, we discovered that our views we not unique.  Bastian Bergmann states that “innovation is every bit an art as it is a science because it takes those magical moments of creativity that you later can’t explain to your colleagues as well as bulletproof methodologies and ideation processes.”

Therefore, what is the force behind the Sensient’s Art of Innovation – its employees.  Sensient’s innovation teams meet on a regular basis, trading ideas and concepts that are truly global in scope. A shout out goes to our Asia Pacific team who attends these meetings late in the evening!  It does not stop there. Our applications team also participate in the innovation meetings and offers their unique perspective on ideation and current market needs.  Finally, senior leadership is also present and ensure that any idea presented is given the opportunity to flourish. 

The Art of Innovation is the means in which Sensient brings new products to the marketplace; then used by brands to develop the next generation of beauty products.  Just as art is meant to be seen, heard, or read; our innovation is meant to create partnerships with our customer – to inspire, create, innovate!

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