HAMBURG: Beiersdorf, the skincare giant, is adopting a more flexible approach to new product development as a means of identifying successful future brands.

The German corporation has launched an online R&D hub, Pearlfinder, which will ask registered third parties to provide their input into projects covering areas including formulas and packaging.

Among the goods already brought to market in this way are Nivea Body Lotion, containing various active agents, and the Nano Definition Lengthening Mascara, from the same stable.

Eucerin DermoDensifyer and Nivea Visage Expert Lift both feature anti-wrinkle ingredient Bioxilift, an approach first pioneered by a French enterprise.

Similarly, Beiersdorf allied with Dutch group Philips to deliver a jointly-branded electric razor, offering a mixture of wet and dry shaving.

The Nivea Pure & Natural range of creams and wipes also utilise arctiin, available in plants like burdock, that helps make consumers look younger.

Such a formula was originally suggested by a German farmer in Saxony-Anhalt, and Beiersdorf conducted in-depth analysis to prove the efficacy of this idea in practice.

"Through the Pearlfinder web platform we are creating an integrated process for the external exchange of knowledge," said Klaus-Peter Wittern, the firm's head of research and development.

"In this way we can work on ideas and approaches to solutions not only with universities, cooperative partners, and other companies, but also with individual inventors and scientists: one concept all participants profit from."

Data sourced from Beiersdorf; additional content by Warc staff