For consumer products it can sometimes be all about The Feeling. A feeling that is wanted – or not. The way to reach a specific feeling, perhaps the one the of the bench mark product or one far beyond, will be different depending on your company culture, resources and the time to market. But if you believe in Quality by Understanding, all routes but the one leading to an understanding of Why and How will ultimately be less robust and less sustainable.

In one such case we were given the challenge to understand the origin of a discrepancy between the feeling when  using one hygiene product compared to another. The pieces to the puzzle were not sharp enough, we ended up in so many “grey  – not statistically viable – zones” using advanced microscopy and NMR in particular. However, after not giving up and believing in our original hypothesis we could in the end back it up with a clever way of using elementary analysis.

Ultimately, we gave our client not only a plausible scientifically backed reason for the different feelings but also ideas of how a chemistry change can lead to a physical change and  – eventually an emotional change. Not bad.