Consumer Systems and Home Automation - A Disruptive End to Silo Thinking

June 2021

In a world that now seems more about disruption than stability, it is always better to be the disruptor than the disrupted - and that means pushing horizons outwards. Strategy needs to be built as part of a wider consumer system rather than at product silo level. Consumer systems are about breaking down walls instead of building them, creating incremental profit opportunities, and preparing for disruptive threats that can come from any direction across the system.

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Key findings

Smart Technology

The creation of new value from smart technology inherently erodes “silo” mindsets, forcing brands to see beyond their immediate area of operation. Smart disruption forces brands to think about what value is accessible on the other side of a “wall”.

Helicopter View

  Consumer system frameworks matter because this helicopter perspective is how disruptors are seeing early opportunities for incremental gains, and how brands can predict the directions most credible threats can come from.

New Business Models

Replenishment agreements blend revenue streams, give substitutional value to one stakeholder at the cost of another, curated D2C (direct-to-consumer) can close off segments of FMCG. Systems support new ownership, circular economy and marketplace structures.

Beyond Profit and Loss

This is only partly about the incremental revenue and profit - there are other gains to be had. There are synergies in value creation, user relationships and retention metrics, and long-standing performance barriers have started to become solvable.


Leading disruptors are clearly heading towards system ownership as a goal; right now this is about partnerships and gaining wider coverage via collaboration, but an end point is closed systems limiting disruption opportunities in shopping journeys.


Key findings
Fast-moving consumer goods as consumables
Exploring consumer systems

Examining consumer systems

Consumer systems in-depth
Smart disruption: a force eroding silo mindsets and testing barriers between stakeholders
New business models: a radical overhaul of ownership where anyone can be a “frenemy”
Mixing-in-the-Moment: a predictable smart disruption impacting most consumer systems
Maturing consumer systems: evolving and disruptive – Healthy Eating
Maturing consumer systems: evolving and disruptive – Fabric Care
Maturing consumer systems: evolving and disruptive – Hygienic Home
Emerging consumer systems: brands see opportunities, frameworks are at an earlier stage
Emotion from facilitation: the resonance and relevance in a consumer system cascade to all
Empathic technology is next: reacting across an entire consumer system creates synergy
Consumer systems in focus
Companies are meeting the needs of consumers using various strategies
Candy’s WashPass brings more system spending under one roof, with gains for all involved
WashPass and its position in the Fabric Care Consumer System
Henkel’s 2019 Somat Smart consumable insert goes in dishwashers, taking over auto-dosing
Somat Smart and its position in the Healthy Eating Consumer System
Haier’s Internet of Clothing ( IoC ) is huge and continuous to evolve
Haier’s Internet of Clothing (IoC): when thinking in user scenarios is put into practice
Alexa voice shopping and Amazon’s DRS offer glimpses into ring-fenced shopping journeys
Bundles challenges the concept of “owning” devices, mixing shared economy with circularity
Bundles and its position in the Fabric Care Consumer System
Bundles and its position in the Healthy Eating Consumer System
Lasso brings into focus the sustainable home of the future; which FMCG brand will acquire?
Futurology: control of consumables, devices, sensors and retail across a system pays off
Smart disruption in home insecticides and its position in the Hygienic Home System
Consumer systems
Key industry takeaways
Challenges to overcome
Become tomorrow’s next leader


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