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Two months ago, D’las International, a fragrance company based in Sri Lanka, launched the Aura Aliya incense stick designed to repel elephants during prayers. It was developed to remedy the longstanding human-elephant conflict in the region, which causes an average of 60 human and 300 elephant deaths annually. In partnership with the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka and TBWA, the Aliya was tested over three years before it was launched. Elephants are immensely sensitive to smell and they avoid certain pungent plants. The stick combines five non-toxic, natural elephant repelling ingredients: ginger, lemon grass, citronella, palmarosa and patchouli. Unlike traditional pray sticks that burn vertically for only 30-90 minutes, the 12-inch Aliya burns for up to 6 hours horizontally, covering a radius of 20 meters. 

Tackling years of unresolved conflict, hundreds of deaths with… incense! What a story. Let’s dive in for more:

💡Zero effort. In Sri Lanka, villagers live in fear of elephant attacks destroying homes and crops. They pray early morning and in the evenings with incense sticks, hoping for divine protection. Based on this behavioural understanding, Aura created a simple solution that embeds itself into people’s daily routine. Similarly, you know your customers are time-pressed and their habits are hard to change. Consumers are more likely to embrace solutions that require zero effort on their side and embed into existing products or behavior. Read our AMBIENT WELLNESS trend for a wellness-focused look at this kind of innovation. Where product adoption is prevented by hesitation to adapt behavior, can you weave your solutions into consumer’s daily life?

💡Same expertise, new offering. Similar to the anti-groping stamp, Aura and its partners in this project got creative and thought of an alternative use of their product to solve a societal problem. And as much as we love innovation that makes the world a better place, brands can adapt their expertise into new fields for commercial reasons, too ;) See how Bose capitalized on its core expertise, with plans to bring noise-canceling tech from headphones to cars. What are you best-in-class at producing? Where could you repurpose your expertise to create powerful new offerings?