Nivea "Invisible for Black & White" -
An Innovation Success Story


In a market dominated by the promise of ever-increasing deodorant protection (deodorants providing effective protection for 48, 72 and even 96 hours), Nivea wanted to explore new, relevant and unique consumer needs that had not yet been addressed by the market. Embracing a consumer-centered open innovation process, fresh insights should be uncovered and turned into a product that would differentiate from competitors and disrupt the deodorant market.



Based on HYVE’s consumer-centric innovation approach, an in-depth analysis of consumer conversations in social media and online communities worldwide revealed a vexing problem consumers are discussing intensively: stains on clothes that are caused by the use of deodorants. Building on this unique insight, ideas and concepts were co-created with leading-edge and extreme users in face-to-face sessions. In order to validate and enrich these concepts, a digital evaluation tool was implemented which enabled consumers to provide their feedback and share their ideas.


Drawing on the results of the co-creation process involving more than 2,200 consumers, Nivea developed the “Invisible for Black & White” deodorant, the first deodorant that helps to avoid yellow stains on white clothes and white stains on black textiles. The new deodorant became the most successful product launch in the 130-year history of Beiersdorf. Nivea’s “Invisible for Black & White” created an entirely new category of anti-stain deodorants which has become a major addition to any leading brand’s product portfolio today. HYVE’s digital co-creation approach has been featured in Harvard Business Manager and is taught as a case study at Harvard Business School.