Without a doubt, innovation is the lifeline of any consumer-centric business. It is also a race that many enter, but only a handful succeed. New product innovations are the manufacturers’ way of getting a bigger chunk of the ever-growing pie.
In a given year, there are over 14,000 innovations launched in the Egyptian market. With such clutter in the market, standing out becomes an even bigger challenge. Moreover, with the absence of clear action standards for whether a new launch will be successful or not, the success rate of product innovations stands at a meager 10% – definitely not the return on investment manufacturers are looking for.
With millions of dollars spent on new product development, advertising, distribution and support, it’s a scary reality to realize how much has been invested over the years.
INNOVATION IS ALL ABOUT THE CONSUMER
So many elements go into the mix when launching an innovation. From coming up with a proposition, to financially supporting the new launch, to gaining visibility and store shelving. However, the key is to understand the unmet needs of your consumers. But it’s not that simple, and we always have a lot of questions that remain unanswered; how can we assess whether the innovation idea would succeed with the consumer? And how do we introduce products that they can relate to?
After extensive studies, Nielsen has unlocked the key to innovations’ success or failure from a consumer adoption standpoint. It starts from whether an innovation is able to grab consumer’s attention, to how relevant and of value it is, down to how well your product meets all consumer expectations
DOES YOUR NEW INNOVATION SERVE YOUR OVERALL BRAND STRATEGY?
Each manufacturer’s new product innovation stems from a strategic business need. This varies from each manufacturer to the other, from achieving incremental sales, to retaining lost consumers into the portfolio. Some innovations can be very appealing to consumers, yet harmful to the company’s overall strategy such as negatively impacting a premium brand’s equity by launching a mass product. It is crucial that the consumers’ perspective and the strategic objective come hand in hand.
INNOVATION IN NUMBERS
At the end of the day, an innovation’s success is measured by final sales results. If a new product is extremely successful with consumers, and fits the brand strategy, yet is not worth the investment put behind it, it cannot be deemed a successful launch.
A holistic view of innovation requires that the elements of consumer, strategy and financials are not only taken into account, but work well together.
Written By Maria Zaki & Hadeel Salama, Senior Research Analysts, Innovation Practice