Expanding the boundaries of innovation

Fundamental for company strategy, the creation of new concepts and products requires a systemic view of the entire business

The Natura innovation model permeates the entire organization transversally. It is present in our commercial strategy, in the pursuit of new business opportunities, in biodiversity ingredient stewardship and extraction techniques and in our industrial and logistics operations.

To ensure an integrated vision, with agility and focus on innovation, in 2013 projects were focused on three major research and development fronts: Well-being and Relationships, Sustainable Technologies and Cosmetics Technologies.

In addition to using internal resources, to finance this strategy Natura receives support from foment agencies such as Finep (Empresa Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos – Study and Project Financing Company), which will provide R$ 205.8 million in funding for the company's research and projects over the next two years.

Natura also formed a partnership with the foment institution Fapesp (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo – São Paulo State Research Support Foundation) for the creation of the Center of Applied Research in Well-Being and Human Behavior.With a scheduled investment of R$ 20 million over a ten-year period, divided equally between the two organizations, the center will promote scientific and technological research aimed at assessing the benefits of well-being in different areas, such as neuroscience, positive psychology and psychometrics.

“The aim is to understand cultural and social standards which will then be applied to new products, concepts and services”, says Luciana Hashiba, Innovation Management and Networks manager, underscoring that the results will also be made available to public and private bodies, generating important outcomes for those involved and for society as a whole.

The center will select researchers from private and public institutions in the state of São Paulo through an open tender launched at the end of 2013.

These partnerships are the result of the company's experience in open and networked innovation, investing in the shared construction of competencies in collaboration with the most diverse actors. Currently, the Natura project and concept development network involves more than 200 partners, including universities, research institutions, test laboratories, companies and foment agencies. These actors and potential new partners may interact through the Natura Campus, the company's collaborative open innovation program.

3% of revenues

is Natura's approximate annual investment in innovation. In 2013, investments totaled R$ 181 million.

To boost its capacity to capture worldwide trends, the company has developed an increasingly global innovation process. In 2013, Natura inaugurated the Innovation Hub, an office in New York (USA) to accelerate the identification of relevant opportunities in fashion, cosmetics, design and other areas. Since 2012 it has also been a member of the Media Lab consortium, a digital research laboratory at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston, USA. The company maintains partnerships in Paris(France), where it works on research in conjunction with the University of Lyon, as well as in Australia, the latter the result of the Aesop acquisition. In Brazil, Natura maintains its global research center in Cajamar, the largest in the cosmetics area in Latin America, and Nina (the Natura Amazônia Innovation Center) in Manaus.

 

Experiences
on the social networks

  • 7 million fans on Facebook
  • 52 thousand followers on Twitter
  • The Aqui Tem Natura (Natura is here) application permits Facebook users to find an NC among their friends and their friends' contacts, with more than 128 thousand NCs registered
  • Global Innovation Center
    the largest cosmetics research center in Latin America, in Cajamar (São Paulo).
  • NINA (Natura Amazônia Innovation Center)
    program that articulates the research and innovation network in the Amazon region.
  • Center of Applied Research in Well-Being and Human Behavior
    a new initiative to investigate the frontiers of knowledge about well-being.
  • Natura Campus
    a collaborative open innovation program linking research institutions, companies and entrepreneurs (www.naturacampus.com.br).
  • Co-financing of 40 scholarships for the program Ciência sem Fronteiras (Science without frontiers) run by the CNPq (Brazil's national scientific and technological development council).
  • Co-creating Natura
    a co-creation network with Natura consumers and other stakeholders.
  • Festa do Futuro (Future Party)
    an innovation encounter for Natura employees.
  • Innovation Hub
    office in New York (USA) to capture trends in fashion, cosmetics and design, among other areas.
  • Aesop Innovation Center
    the innovation unit of the company in Australia (organization acquired by Natura).
  • Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Natura is a member of this research consortium, which is a reference in innovation, design, science and technology.
  • France
    collaborative research with the University of Lyon into cosmetics technologies.

Power to the people

To identify consumer needs, natura organizes collaborative encounters to brainstorm new ideas and streamline the innovation process

In November 2013, the public relations executive Mariana Assis, 34, took part in a virtual encounter organized by Natura to generate new ideas for the kits distributed by Naturamagazine. As a brand consumer, she was invited to take part in Co-creating Natura – an initiative launched in 2013 to boost the participation of different company stakeholders in the development of innovative concepts. “The conversation is open: the mediator leads the debate, somebody makes a suggestion and then the others help to develop the idea. I like being able to take part in this, giving my opinion and my perceptions about all these subjects”, she concludes.

Co-creating Natura is a collaborative experience in which different groups of people contribute, streamlining the development of relevant insights, concepts and products. The discussions are based on areas of interest to the company and use virtual dynamics, as well as face-to-face meetings. Throughout 2013, the participant network was progressively expanded, reaching more than 1,800 people.

The statements gathered and the ideas generated in these encounters help inspire future company actions and innovations. “A lot of what we were talking about was to do with personalizing a present. How we may show the care we took in choosing a particular one”, Mariana adds about giving gifts, the theme of the encounter which will help the company to enhance its kits for special commemorative dates. Other subjects discussed in 2013 were transparency, the Mamãe&Bebê (Mother and Baby) line and contemporary Brazil.

Employees may take part in the Future Party, an ideas laboratory with weekly meetings for different company areas. “People come when they can, they participate as they want to, and if the subject under discussion is not of interest to them, they move to a different table. What counts is ensuring that the meetings are as productive as possible”, says Gilson Manfio, Innovation Strategy and Communication manager.

The Future Party has already produced some positive outcomes, such as a relationship and marketing action that originated from one of the encounters. “The participation of different areas in the meetings generated a perception of how the Natura hair care sub-brand Plant complemented the company application Gestos (Gestures) and the Natura Network. This led to a special event in a mall in Campinas (São Paulo)” said Manfio. “We promoted an interactive well-being experience based on gestures, involving NCs from the Natura Network in an event which included purchase simulations. This was organized in a special space and engaged more than one thousand visitorsin a more immersive brand experience”, he concluded.