What's growing on you today?
Our skin is alive with microbes that affect our wellness. Would you like to know whats growing on you? Find out at your local Lulu store.
3. Opportunity: Which pillar of well-being, and which aspect of that particular pillar, are being addressed by the idea? In what way does it influence a pillar? What type of individual and community would benefit from the idea?
Body: We are learning all the time about the importance of the body's microbial community to our health and wellness. Conscious consumers want to understand more but are confused.
Community: Lulu would create a very powerful data set that would reveal (anonymously) how skin microbiomes trend by age, sex, geography, lifestyle etc. This could be used to educate and get more people informed and energized about the importance of microbiome health and lead to new product offerings
4. Innovation: Why is your idea unique, novel, and/or impactful? What will the future look like if we’re successful in bringing your idea to life? How does the proposed solution differ from existing solutions addressing human well-being?
We see products all the time that claim to have a positive effect on our microbiomes but with little science to back them up. Lulu can change the paradigm. Lulu would offer an instant skin swab service, in-store. After lab analysis we will then send you a profile of your skin microbiome. With future self-care products backed up by good science Lulu could make recommendations based on the results. No other health and wellness company offers this.
5. Action Plan: Please justify and briefly describe the major steps needed to make this idea a reality. Does the technology and understanding exist now? Is it likely to exist in the next 3-5 years?
The analysis technology exists now and we know most of the microbes that cause common skin issues such as odor. The cost for DNA sequencing will continue to come down and is currently $20 per sample. But with the volume of samplings Lulu will generate, coupled with a partnership with a sequencing company (good PR opportunity) this would come down. Even so you'd have to maybe think about "free with $50 purchase" to justify the expense. Logistically, the sampling could be done by any salesperson after a short instruction, and the samples would be posted off at the end of each working day. The science would be provided by the partner. The technology exists for real time analysis with the customer in store, but is currently around $100 per sample.
The extent of the "diagnosis" and subsequent product recommendations would need definition. Lulu would want to avoid any kind of clinical diagnosis but could simply provide a profile of all the species identified and maybe just a non-specific flyer with some information on some of the organisms. For example, known causers of malodor could be identified if Lulu were to focus on issues they had products for.
Ideally this service would be paired with products such as pre/pro biotic apparel and body sprays with some good science behind them. This would take 3-5 years. If the data reveal it to be so, then demonstrating that users of Lulu products have less odor-causing microbes would be a powerful marketing play.
Concept could be expanded to yoga classes and combined with informative presentations on skin health.
An alternative product concept would be a take-home test kit with every purchase, but I think this will result in lower participation.