In markets around the world, business startups are employing so-called disruptive innovation to carve new niches in industries dominated by established players.
Disruptive innovation is the principle of identifying a new way of doing something, particularly in highly-competitive market sectors, upending established practices and businesses with a refreshing new approach.
Schmidt’s Naturals, a startup based in Portland, Oregon, has already made a name for itself in producing a line of naturally-derived deodorants, capturing a sizeable portion of the health and beauty market and attracting the attention of global giant Unilever, which recently acquired the firm.
Schmidt’s Naturals is now targeting the toothpaste market with a blend of disruptive innovation and a focus on time-honored ingredients. The company’s new line of toothpastes includes such unusual health-oriented ingredients like superfood extracts, organic aloe juice, tea tree oil, and vitamins.
Some of the flavor combinations are turning heads as well, with the introduction so such blends as Coconut Lime, Activated Charcoal with Mint, and Vanilla Chai.
Activated charcoal and baking soda have been used for hundreds of years in oral health care, but Schmidt’s Naturals has brought those old ingredients into sharp modern focus.
Innovation to Meet Consumer Demand
One of the primary components of disruptive innovation is for small startups to identify areas where established companies are slow to move. This could include capitalizing on emerging consumer trends, where a smaller and more flexible company is more able to cater to those consumer trends ahead of a much larger corporation.
In the case of Schmidt’s Naturals, consumer demand for natural ingredients and sustainable sources took the forefront in the development of the new toothpaste line. Consumer preferences for new flavors and scents also played into the equation; the company is planning to expand its toothpaste lineup with citrus and flavors derived from floral extracts.
Both of these consumer interests and trends opened new opportunities for the Portland company, and by capitalizing on those trends, they are able to carve a substantial niche into the established oral care market.