Senior Innovation Manager

  • Job Reference: BP/CLER/SIM
  • Date Posted: 14 September 2021
  • Recruiter: Manpower UK
  • Location: West End, London
  • Salary: £66,000 to £72,000
  • Sector: Sales
  • Job Type: Contract
  • Duration: July 2022
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Senior Innovation Manager to join our client, a leading global FMCG company with Brands such as Dove, Knorr, Persil & Magnum, based at their prestigious facility in Clerkenwell, London (the expectation is to work at least 3 days per week from the office and 2 days from home).

This is a full-time temporary role to last until the end of July 2022, working a 36.25-hour week, to start ASAP. This role is paying up to £72,000 pro rata per annum, depending on experience. Some international travel may be required as part of the role, subject to COVID-19 restrictions (would consist of 1 or 2 trips to Singapore or USA across the year).

Role Background

Pitch is a centre for collaborative creativity - somewhere where ideas quickly turn from a little spark into something truly tangible. The team at Pitch are involved in shaping and accelerating innovation design and delivery for UL Beauty & Personal Care to deliver a step change in the volume of bigger and faster breakthrough innovations for product, content and business models. We also play an important role in creating an environment to craft a new beauty culture within UL.

This role provides an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation within Beauty & Personal Care. To be successful in this role, you must have a strong strategic background to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by brands, have excellent creative thinking and the ability to think outside the box to then be able to lead them through the journey to find the right solution.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Thought Leadership

  • Lead Pitch work streams: highly strategic initiatives identified by Beauty & Personal Care EVPs, to enable brands to expedite a goal/milestone. Work with strategy teams to proactively translate the category strategy into project portfolios and partner them to support the work-stream into Pitch.
  • Transform the way that co-creation is used in the business. Expand its role from just strategizing to encompass design-led doing and testing, ensuring an experiential approach is at the centre through lean start-up & rapid prototyping (eliminating uncertainty through build-measure-learn cycles with a focus on delivering minimum viable products in markets); creating a permanent competitive advantage for UL.

Pitch Co-Creation

  • Act as an ongoing strategic consultant to brand teams, by challenging/shaping briefs and then leading Pitch Sprint workshops as well as ongoing Pitch crafting sessions to refine the output.
  • Help to develop the right creative and strategic input for workshop sessions and collaborate with internal teams and external parties to bring the best workshop to life e.g. consumers, external experts or designers.
  • Track project milestones and business impact via brand teams post launch to be able to report progress to the Beauty & Personal Care Leadership Team.

External Inspiration & Trends

  • Understand the role that stimulus plays to provoke the status quot and stimulate creative thinking. Bring to life trend work and design-led stimulus for all relevant workshops. Present trends whenever needed utilising the Pitch long-term Macro Trends and short-term Look & Style trends as well as external stimulus.
  • Bring/implement ideas of projects that build Pitch thought leadership. Attend and report on relevant events, exhibitions etc.
  • Build Pitch Contact Library with experts and thought leaders to ensure Pitch workshops are providing the right provocation back to the business and ideas are future facing.


  • Motivate and lead a team of people - primarily agency teams or project network and drive them to success.
  • Pioneer new co-creation methods (virtual & face to face) taking inspiration from external start-ups and working with R&D, Central Marketing and Insight teams to ensure new capabilities are piloted in Pitch and take responsibility for upskilling Pitch team.

Key Requirements

  • Significant level of experience of working in brand marketing including product innovation.
  • Strong project management, planning and organisation skills.
  • Curiosity and passion for beauty and personal care. A flair for beauty, fashion, art, design, trends; having connections in this world is a plus.
  • Ability to be able to juggle multiple projects and priorities, as well as demonstrating real ownership and accountability.
  • Understand brand development to a level which enables you to advise the business on advertising, brand positioning, and consumer behaviour.
  • Experience of leading innovation and category strategy (beauty/personal care preferred however would also consider other categories). Using LEAN/start-up innovation techniques is preferred.
  • An outstanding communicator, relationship builder and influencer, capable of working effectively with counterparts of all work levels and across multiple cultures/countries.
  • Creative thinker who isn't afraid to do things differently.
  • Strong business acumen.
  • Confidence in adopting new virtual tools for collaboration is essential and experience working with Miro, Mural, & Zoom is preferred.
  • A personal interest in keeping connected to the changing external world & evidence of being able to develop strategic trend content from various sources and delivering with impact to the business.
  • Bachelor's Degree preferred.