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Novozymes makes household cleaning green again!


Novozymes is an industry-leading biotech company that wanted to introduce a new cleaning technology to the market – Microbial Cleaning. Microbial Cleaning is a ground-breaking new technology based on a bacterial cleaning agent, which is a much more sustainable solution compared to traditional household cleaning products. Novozymes needed the right consumer insights to create a winning market launch.

UserTribe’s speed of delivery and global reach is a great fit for us. It allows us to keep up momentum in our development process and reach each and every consumer segment we need at the same time.

Clemens HeikausHead of Microbial Cleaning

The challenge

Launching a new product category and technology is a significant investment. For Novozymes, this meant that it had to acquire a fact-based customer understanding around household cleaning products – especially what market opportunities there were for microbial cleaning. Novozymes was also required to show their B2B clients the market demand, and provide data on how it could best guarantee a successful market launch.

The solution

Novozymes needed a fact-based approach to show their B2B customers the considerable consumer interest of the product, as well as to realize how to effectively communicate this innovative technology to end-users. These insights would strengthen the sales dialogue, and form the basis of a greater marketing campaign communicating the potential of green cleaning to the industry.

Therefore, the ambition was to gain insights into how Microbial Cleaning could be framed and proposed so as to allow consumers to experience firsthand how effective this cleaning innovation is.

To do this, Novozymes had to gain an understanding of the core needs, drivers, barriers, pains and expectations in the market for purchasing of Microbial Cleaning products for household cleaning.

Novozymes turned to UserTribe to deliver these insights for three reasons

Human Insights

As the microbial cleaning is an entirely new technology and product category, the study had to be more exploratory in nature, with an emphasis on a human understanding of the thoughts, ideas and beliefs of consumers.


Novozymes’ ways of working are inherently focused on agility and fast-tracking product development, requiring a fast delivery of insights to maintain tight market deadlines.


Novozymes’s customers are global enterprises with global distribution – hence the research had to include several key markets

The deep human understanding of consumers that UserTribe's platform delivers, allows us to develop the strongest possible go-to-market strategy and value proposition.

Clemens HeikausHead of Microbial Cleaning

The findings from UserTribe can be condensed into three main categories

With its human insights platform, UserTribe supported Novozymes every step of the way. UserTribe conducted unmoderated, remote, qualitative video interviews across key markets: the US, UK, Italy and Germany. The interviews were followed by an analysis and delivery of the insights.

Value drivers

UserTribe found that consumers want the same thing from cleaning products across the board, no matter the geographical market: safe and efficient cleaning products with natural ingredients – which perfectly sums up Novozymes microbial cleaning products.

Value proposition

Consumers were conscious of the difference between harmful and beneficial bacteria, and the health issues associated with indiscriminately killing off all bacteria in the home environment. This strengthens the value proposition of microbial cleaning, as it works in tandem with the beneficial natural microbiome of the home environment. It is efficient in removing all kinds of dirt and containing live cleaning bacteria; it can stay active for days after application – providing great resonance with consumer demands.

Communication strategy

While consumers were found to be aware of the concept of probiotics, microbial cleaning was fundamentally an unknown concept to them. However, UserTribe found that when consumers were educated on the matter, they were not just interested in buying the product, they were willing to pay a premium price for it too.

The results

Using the insights that UserTribe generated for them, Novozymes was able to develop several insight-based marketing initiatives showcasing market demand, acceptance and the communication concept to unleash the value potential in microbial cleaning products.

The initiatives helped create a hype around the new green enzymes, and support sales to close significant deals. All in all, they contributed to ensuring a faster and stronger market launch of the green probiotic cleaning range.

About microbial cleaning

Microbial cleaning, also called Probiotic and Bacterial cleaning, is a cleaning agent based on beneficial bacteria instead of pure chemicals. The best thing? It works alongside your home’s natural microbiome of beneficial bacteria instead of disrupting and damaging it – leading to a healthier home environment. Other benefits include:

Unique Combination

Contains a unique combination of Bacillus bacteria that produce up to almost 70 different cleaning enzymes

Active week long

Active for up to seven days after application

Deep cleans

Tackles hidden dirt and grime, even in the tiniest of crevices and fine grooves

Natural breakdown

Works naturally to breakdown and remove many different types of residue, including typical food components like starch, protein and fats

Natural balance

Contributes to the balance of microbiome in the home

Read more about Microbial Cleaning on Novozymes’ website here.

Who is Novozymes?

Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions. Based in Denmark, for more than 70 years the company has worked with enzymes and microbes to find biological answers to better lives in a growing world. Novozymes sells enzymes to more than 40 different industries, and their business is rooted in deep innovation.


Billion DKK in sales in 2018y


Employees in 2018


market share in industrial enzymes as of 2018


Granted and pending patents as of 2018


Save 60 million tons CO2
by enabling low-carbon fuels in the transport sector in 2022


Reach >4 billion people
by providing laundry solutions that replace chemicals in 2022

Production & consumption

Gain 500,000 tons of food
by improving efficiency from farm to table in 2022

Inspire the world

Pledge 1% of our time to local outreach activities by 2022

Excite employees

Achieve a score of 81 on our Zymer Spirit index by 2022

Clemens Heikaus, Head of Microbial Cleaning

Clemes Heikaus holds a PhD in Biochemistry. He is currently defining the cleaning of tomorrow as the global leader of Novozymes’ Microbial Cleaning. Microbial Cleaning is developing and commercializing probiotic home cleaning solutions that will give consumers an alternative to the conventional chemical cleaning approaches.

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