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Think BR: Standing out from the crowd

New products come and go at alarming speeds so you need to understand how to optimise the power and attraction of your brands, writes Richard Boyko, director, Ipsos InnoQuest.

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I’m sure you have noticed it’s a tough world out there. Consumers are spending less while being bombarded with more messages than they can handle and new products come and go with increasing speed. 

As the well known marketer Kevin Kottler recently said: "The reality is that we are living in a world where there is no longer a shortage of goods, rather we face a shortage of consumers".

Any new product entering the market faces immense challenges and marketers need every edge they can get to optimize the mix to its fullest.

All new product initiatives therefore, need to understand the risk involved when taking the decision of whether or not to launch and how to far to support it. Typically they will want to know.

  • How can I assess the market opportunity of an innovation early in the process?
  • How can I continuously evaluate my innovation throughout the launch process, instead of at the end?

In the current business climate research budgets are getting tighter and every euro, pound, dollar or Renminbi spent needs to contribute more.

Can volume forecasting still continue to make a contribution in this fast changing world? Is forecasting still relevant today? I would argue that the answer is an overwhelming yes.

In this fierce competitive environment it really is a case of survival of the fittest or, as we at IPSOS like to think of it, survival of the REDest.

The mission is to partner with clients, to guide them through those decisions to help weed and feed their precious new offerings, identifying those that are too weak and nurturing those with the potential to succeed.

The underlying approach is a tightly integrated innovation performance framework, encapsulating our philosophy of innovation success.

It’s easy to build business by simply increasing spending behind a new item and lowering price. However this is simply not an option and anyway, there has to be a smarter way forward.

Our research & development shows that beyond pricing and spending, relevance and differentiation are the only factors that truly drive sustainable brand growth.

This then is why we assess consumer demand via our RED measures ie, relevance, expensiveness and differentiation

Relevance


Be relevant to consumers - both in terms of initial appeal as well as product usage - the product needs to deliver against consumer expectations and do this in a compelling way.

Expensiveness


Any new initiative scoring poorly on expensiveness will struggle to succeed if its relevance and differentiation scores are also poor.

If a new item delivers strongly on both relevance and differentiation it has a better chance of overcoming a high expensiveness score.

We have seen numerous examples of new items sustaining high prices behind high relevance and differentiation with Apple being the obvious example.

Differentiation

As well as having points of parity, new products need to exhibit strong points of difference. The consumer has to see what it is about the product that allows it to stand out from the crowd.

Across the spectrum of our innovation assessment tools, you will see our RED measures present at each stage of the innovation assessment.

This consistency of measures allows clients to quantify the progress they are making in developing their offers.

In a world where there is already a surplus of brands, it’s not enough to simply throw more into the mix, you need to understand how to optimise the power and attraction of your new products and add some ‘wow’ to the crowd.

Richard Boyko, director, Ipsos InnoQuest

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