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Innovation in Germany – Myths vs. Reality
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Innovation in Germany – Myths vs. Reality

What does it take to successfully launch a new product in Germany? Investigating some common perceptions that German consumers do not like innovations and are only concerned about price, that the retail landscape does not support new innovations, or that keeping an innovation alive is more difficult in Germany than in other established markets, Nielsen reveals the key factors for success with new product innovation at the Consumer 360 conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

Germany consistently ranks as one of the top four leading countries to conduct innovation testing with Nielsen. Last year Nielsen coded over 100,000 new items in its German databases. But are the innovations matching what consumers actually want?

The fact remains that only few new products succeed in market. However, the notion that German consumers are not interested in innovation is simply not true. Actually, German consumers are just as interested to try new products as their British and French neighbors. “Germans like innovation, but expect value for money,” says Ben Schubert from Nielsen. “This especially applies for the premium price sector.”

With limited space on store shelves, only the very best will survive. “About one-third of new product launches manage to grow beyond year one”, adds Ben Schubert. “Here also Germany is on the same level as France and the U.K. – it is not necessarily more difficult to be successful in Germany with new products.“

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A Better Way Forward

New product success must be built on a strong foundation of meeting critical consumer needs. From developing a unique value proposition and creating clear messaging to gaining credibility and delivering on the promises made, Nielsen’s 12 factors for success help to assess the chances of a successful launch. But you are only as strong as your weakest link. Even one risky factor can seriously derail the success of the launch.

Nielsen’s research shows that the likelihood of success can be improved dramatically when an innovation performs on all the 12 factors for success. The “wheel of success” provides a critical roadmap to help navigate the right course for any new product innovation and it can significantly improve the chances for success.