Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2014 (Revised January 2017)

Nivea (A)

by Karim R. Lakhani, Johann Fuller, Volker Bilgram and Greta Friar


The case describes the efforts of Beiersdorf, a worldwide leader in the cosmetics and skin care industries, to generate and commercialize new R&D through open innovation using external crowds and "netnographic" analysis. Beiersdorf, best known for its consumer brand Nivea, has a rigorous R&D process that has led to many successful product launches, but are there areas of customer need that are undervalued by the traditional process? A novel online customer analysis approach suggests untapped opportunities for innovation, but can the company justify a launch based on this new model of research?

Keywords: innovation; innovation management; crowdsourcing; Research and Development; big data; Innovation Strategy; Innovation and Management; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Research and Development; Social and Collaborative Networks; Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry;


Lakhani, Karim R., Johann Fuller, Volker Bilgram, and Greta Friar. "Nivea (A)." Harvard Business School Case 614-042, January 2014. (Revised January 2017.)