There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for success that manufacturers can use to satisfy consumer demand for innovation. There are, however, ways to increase the odds. Nielsen’s research shows that best-in-class innovators take a holistic view of their initiatives, keeping an eye on three key dimensions as they develop their innovations: strategy, consumer viability and sales potential.
Products that meet specific customer needs tend to be more successful than those that don’t. This may sound intuitive, but a flawed initial perspective can have a negative downstream effect. For example, focusing on product features, demographic-defined segments or competition can compromise the effectiveness of all subsequent development steps. Mapping to specific consumer needs can spark remarkable opportunities to life, even in mature markets.
There are several ways to convert a market opportunity into a distinctive product that will appeal to consumers: leverage new technology, import a benefit from other categories, or build on existing brand platforms. Above all else, however, new product ideas need to remain focused on meeting the demand-driven needs for which they were conceived to meet.
Even the best ideas require refinement before they’re ready for market. In order to be successful, it's critical to translate demand-driven concepts into complete market-ready offers. Nielsen’s Factors for Success framework (see below) seeks to ensure that an initiative will stand out, be understood by consumers, provide relevant benefits, offer the right value equation and deliver on its proposition.
Put simply, consumers need to know that products exist, why they exist and where they can find them. There is no standardized approach to marketing execution. While conventional marketing strategies such as in-store presence and TV advertising remain the largest drivers of awareness, consumers are increasingly looking to the Internet and social media for information when making purchasing decisions.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successfully developing and marketing a compelling new product,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president, Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “By focusing on unmet needs, creating a distinct solution, and developing a market-ready offer, marketers and manufacturers will create the best opportunity to ensure their product delivers on core demand insight and is ultimately adopted by consumers. However, ensuring consumers are aware of the product and can find it on store shelves is just as critical as coming up with that winning new product idea.”
For more detail and insight, download Nielsen’s Global New Product Report.