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Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

Low-cost toothbrush for use in rural India wins 2019 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix

Top prize at this year's DBA Design Effectiveness Awards has been awarded to a toothbrush developed for the rural Indian market.

The Sensodyne Daily Care toothbrush uses 45 per cent less material than standard toothbrushes and retails for just 30 pence.

It was created by UK design consultancy DCA to help multinational pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline establish itself in this nascent market.

The main aim of the project was to provide people with sensitive teeth across rural India with access to the Sensodyne brand's soft sensitivity bristles and range of specialist toothpastes.

GlaxoSmithKline also wanted to achieve a significant market share amongst a population whose awareness of oral health is increasing, but whose low household income means that price is a major barrier.

Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

"To persuade target consumers to buy into the Sensodyne brand, the challenge was to create a toothbrush that would retail at an affordable price of no more than 30 rupees (about 30 pence)," said the toothbrush's creators.

"The strategic approach to the project was defined by finding a low-cost way of designing and manufacturing a toothbrush, without compromising on quality."

The design process focused on identifying possible efficiencies in the manufacturing process that would enable the toothbrush to be as cost effective as possible.

The amount of material used for the handle was minimised, which makes the featherweight product more efficient to produce and transport. The overall weight of just 9.4 grams is more than seven grams less than the industry standard.

The minimal and constant thickness of the plastic handle also helps it to cool more quickly in the mould, which enables a manufacturing cycle that is 37 per cent faster than that of a typical toothbrush.

Cost savings resulting from the holistic design approach are passed on to the consumer at point of sale and help to persuade the proprietors of small, rural stores to stock the toothbrushes.

The product is merchandised using a simple point-of-sale hanger that attaches to existing shelves in the general stores where it will typically be sold.

The simple handle is available in four vibrant colours that are relevant to the market and help the product to stand out in this visually cluttered environment.

Design Effectiveness Award Sensodyne toothbrush

"Feedback from our trade partners is that the product's value proposition – a quality Sensodyne toothbrush at such an affordable price – is attracting our target customers," claimed representatives from Sensodyne's branding and design teams.

"The overall design package successfully communicates this and is a key driver of successfully helping millions of people manage their tooth sensitivity."

Founded in 1989, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise impactful, wide-ranging examples of design that have had a tangible affect on business and societal success.

The awards are run by the UK's Design Business Association, which promotes the strategic and economic value of design to business and government. Previous winners have included a brand design for a sealant company that raised sales revenue by 744 per cent.