Report reveals the DNA of the most successful product launches in Europe in the last two years –
showing that innovation is a science, not down to luck
London, 3 December 2015. Nivea, Robinsons, Strongbow, Vanish and Volvic are among a select group of brands to have successfully launched products classed as ‘breakthrough innovation winners’ this year – according to Nielsen’s 2015 Breakthrough Innovation Report, which analysed 8,650 FMCG product launches – nearly 24,500 new SKUs – across Western Europe.
To be classed a breakthrough innovation winner, product launches had to meet three criteria: deliver a new proposition (not just a refinement); generate at least £10/€10 million sales in their first year of trading; and maintain at least 90% of their sales in the second year. 18 product launches did.
The Breakthrough Innovation Winners for 2015 are:
“Three out of four new SKUs fail to generate even £100,000 sales in their first year of trading and are often delisted by retailers,” explains Marcin Penconek, VP of Nielsen’s innovation practice in Europe, and co-author of the report. “Breakthrough innovation is extremely rare but, despite perceptions amongst some, it’s neither random, nor down to luck, nor magic. There are clear patterns behind why consumers pull some products and not others into their lives.”
The report explains why launches succeed or fail, using an approach called “Jobs Theory” – the idea that what causes a person to consume something is not related to that consumer’s identifiable qualities – such as demographics – nor the product attributes, but to the specific circumstances around the job to be done.
Penconek explains Jobs Theory: “It’s the idea that people don’t so much buy products as hire them to perform jobs in their lives . Successful innovators display empathy – they clearly identify the circumstance where consumers struggle or have unmet aspirations and innovate around these.
“Breakthrough innovations are products that solve these issues in a distinctive and compelling way. They communicate it to consumers in a simple way, allowing them to make a clear link between their need and the new product – winners can easily explain their solution to an eight-year old child.”
A selection of winners below illustrates how Breakthrough Innovation was achieved this year:
Nielsen’s European Breakthrough Innovation Report provides facts, insights and thought leadership on innovation for marketers, based on real observations of impactful launches since 2013. The report is designed to help improve innovation outcomes, and to make every penny invested in innovation go further. The report is based on findings from the launch of 24,353 SKUs, representing more than 8,650 initiatives, from Nielsen’s proprietary ScanTrack Innovation platform, across five key western European markets: UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Breakthrough innovations in other markets, particularly Turkey, have also been reviewed and form part of the overall findings.
Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90 percent of the world’s population. www.nielsen.com