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CircleUpJune.29.20223 min read

Helio for Innovation

Innovate quicker and with more confidence with Helio’s Universal Data.

Innovation departments and venture studios alike have the same question on their mind: what’s next and how do we create so we can reap the lionshare of the rewards? Or in some cases that same question comes out as “How does [WhiteClaw, LiquidIV, etc.] never happen to us again?”

When it comes to innovation, there is a chance you stumble upon a new technology, new flavor, or new ingredient on a sabbatical trip to a far corner of the world and bring home that innovation and turn it into a billion dollar enterprise. But the chances are slim. 

For those not fortunate to have such transformative sabbatical experiences, using data to systematically inform innovation is a wonderful alternative, and Helio a dream partner for your innovation team on that journey.

Helio helps Innovation teams take the guesswork out of innovation and cut their ideation cycle times in half so they can innovate quicker and with more confidence. 

Heads of Innovation, Strategy and R+D are taking the guesswork out of triangulating the next big thing with Universal Data from Helio. Here’s a peek into their process.

1. It has always been true that trends from one consumer category eventually  cross-pollinate to the next.  We know that human Food trends eventually make their way to Pet trends and that Vitamins/Supplements trends make their way into Beverage and Beauty. With Helio, Innovation teams leverage Helio’s >16M attributes, coupled with our HGP score and other Universal Data metrics to see emerging trends from adjacent (yet highly influential) categories, in order to get ahead of the innovation curve in their own categories of creation.

In this analysis, we helped an innovation team look at the cross pollination of attributes between the alc bev and non-alc bev space. This type of analysis helps you identify trends that can translate to creating new categories. When our customers ask us to help them “Find the next White Claw”…this is how we do it.

2. In the words of Wayne Gretsky, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been” great Innovation teams know that chasing what is growing today, doesn’t mean they will find success tomorrow and so they use Helio to understand both where the market is successful now and where future growth will come from.

In this analysis, we helped a beauty company look at where offline growth was coming from using YOY sales growth as the metric of interest. In Personal Care, we saw Baby, Dental and Sun Care growing fastest. When using HGP (our proprietary future success score) score as the metric of interest, we see a different story with Makeup, Skincare and Nail Care as the categories with the highest future potential.

Once we understand where growth is happening within a category, we can dive deeper to understand whitespace and trends that could be opportunities for product development and brand extensions. Helio tracks 16 million attributes to help you understand which attributes represent the most growth and consumer interest in the category. 

In a recent analysis, Helio developed a custom category using emerging brands that specialized in the low/no alcohol space. Helio then identified which attributes and ingredients were leading to revenue and distribution growth and which attributes had the most social media discussion. While MCT Oil showed the most growth KPIs, Hemp and CBD were tracking high only in social media following. The ability to tie attributes to quantitative KPIs allows our customers to identify emerging growth trends consumer are responding to and ignore the shiny new objects that aren’t growing.

3. While coming up with the idea for the next big thing is critical, winning teams also have a game plan for using the 24 month period post-launch to gain the lionshare of revenue. Innovation teams look to Helio to understand key growth dynamics of winning brands in order to replicate what’s working so they can reap the lionshare of the rewards faster.

In this analysis, we helped an innovation team look at the optimal channel mix for beauty companies in order to shape their launch strategy. Notably, we saw that the companies with the highest median HGP score had a mix of E-Commerce, D2C and Offline channels activated, leaving Amazon out of the channel mix.

If your Innovation team is looking to improve your innovation process, we would be eager to speak with you and share more about how Helio can help! Get in touch with sales here.