New Product Messages Not Getting Through
By Tom Ryan
According to a new survey, only 23 percent of 1,000 American consumers could recall a new product introduced in 2007. Joan Holleran, editor of New Product magazine, one of the study’s providers, remarked to MediaPost, “It’s like consumers are saying: ‘Could you spend a little more on research and development, instead of just creating line extensions?'”
The research was conducted by Information Resources Inc., New Products magazine, comScore, and Schneider Associates.
When presented with a list of new products introduced last year, Apple’s iPhone topped the list with a 37 percent recall rate. Rounding out the top ten (in order) were Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, Febreze-branded candles, Domino’s Oreo Dessert Pizza, the over-the-counter diet aide Alli, Oreo Cakesters, Diet Coke Plus, Subway Fresh Fit Meals, Motorola’s RAZR 2, and Listerine White Strips.
“Companies need to be more savvy about marketing their [new] products,” Char Partelow, SVP/business and consumer insights at IRI, told Marketing Daily. “You need to be where they are.”
In a similar survey last year, a worse 19 percent of respondents could recall a new product in 2006. Researchers attributed the media buzz surrounding the iPhone launch for the better performance for 2007.
While the research underscored that consumers have short attention spans around new products, the results showed that the top memorable products were line extensions. Researchers also noted that most of the memorable new products experimented with their marketing mix – using blogs, word of mouth and PR-generated media to get the word out.
They didn’t just rely on one or two common ways of getting their message across,” Mr. Holleran said.
Separate research by IRI showed that those new products touting a health and wellness claim were the most successful last year. The research shows that Campbell’s Reduced Sodium Soup was the top new product seller last year. Other top sellers included General Mills Fiber One Chewy Bars, Dannon’s DanActive Probiotic Dairy Drinks and Activia Light Yogurt, and Sara Lee’s Heart Hearty & Delicious breads.
“During the next year, demand will explode for function food and beverages that deliver health benefits beyond basic nutrition,” said Anne Berlack, IRI executive vice president/business and consumer insights, in a statement. “Retailers and manufacturers that marry functional benefits with effective consumer education, as Dannon did this year with DanActive Immunity-boosting beverages, will win big.”
In the non-food category, the most successful products looked to create a more pleasant experience in everyday chores and personal care. While Huggies’ Supreme Natural Fit Diapers topped the non-food category, other successful products included Tide’s Simple Pleasures Detergent, Gain’s Joyful Expressions Detergent and Febreze Noticeable Air Fresheners.
Discussion Questions: Is the fact that consumers can’t recall new products primarily a marketing problem? Or is it more of an R&D problem? How can brands and retailers do a better job coming out with memorable new product launches?
- New Product Messages Aren’t Making Intended Impressions – MediaPost
- IRI Announces the Most Successful New Brands of 2007 – Information Resources, Inc.