Five metrics for new products success.

Most new products fail.  Among consumer food products, 1 in 10 might still be around in 5 years.  Most of those failures will be predictable when the product is launched.  Here are the five metrics to watch if you want to improve the odds.

  1. Concept strength. Is the idea for the product or service compelling to the target customer?  Is it a big idea?  This is easily measured with an “intent-to-buy” or similar concept score.
  2. Concept differentiation. Is the product or service different enough from options currently available?  Does it meet a new need or is it just a me-too offering?
  3. Product fulfillment. Does the product or service do what it claims to do?  Does it deliver on the concept?  Does it meet or exceed expectations?  An in-home or beta test will tell.
  4. Awareness. Does the target customer know about the new product or service when it is launched in market?  This requires media – earned or owned are most efficient, but paid media will accelerate awareness in all cases.
  5. Availability. Is the product or service available through the distribution channels the customer uses?  If the customer can’t find it, they can’t buy it.

Big companies generally have bigger new product launches because they have big advertising budgets to drive awareness and a direct sales force to drive distribution.  Many of their new products also leverage existing big brands – like mint Oreos.  But small food companies have been gaining share on the big ones for at least a decade because they have stronger, highly differentiated concepts.  Small companies also benefit from the efficiency of digital advertising and retailers who want their innovation.

Are you looking for help with your innovation strategy?  Reach out, we’d love to help.