Improving innovation can increase success of product launches, says Kantar

Companies can raise the chances of success of their product launches simply by improving their innovation process, according to Kantar.

“With the high failure rate for new product launches, optimizing product design, packaging, positioning and communication is essential for the best chance of success,” the data analytics and brand consulting company said in a new article.

Kantar identified five ways to improve innovation. One is to embrace a consumer-first mindset by acquiring a deep understanding of who values the innovation and why. A successful innovation strategy is built on answering questions from a consumer’s perspective and then implementing the solutions as appealingly as possible, going beyond just satisfying functional needs.

These questions could include the following: Does the positioning evoke the right feelings? Does the packaging have the ability to stand out on the shelf? Will the new offer extend brand appeal or cannibalize existing items? Will the advertising communicate the proposition effectively?

Another way to innovate successfully is to fill the knowledge gaps fast by using automated research solutions, such as quick, real-world experiments and concept testing, which can provide needed clarity, prevent making any assumptions, and avoid some of the existing barriers that have stopped widespread adoption.

Moreover, companies must “learn, test and learn,” said Kantar. To develop innovations at speed, businesses need to nurture their best ideas effectively through just-in-time testing and fast customer feedback. This process can build momentum as the project progresses and give innovators the confidence to facilitate faster, more impactful innovation.

“Timely customer feedback, with the right tools and expertise, can empower the process of innovation: helping you nurture the right ideas, develop compelling concepts, design standout packaging and set the right conditions for a successful product launch,” Kantar explained.

Another crucial innovation strategy is to employ the right tools and expertise to help in observing people’s behavior and shopping habits. Kantar said there is a wide variety of customer insight tools that can assist firms in employing behavioral science to better understand and predict consumer behavior.

Finally, the innovation should fit in with the company’s brand. “Even a strong brand can only stretch its credibility so far. For instance, in the US, Pond’s long-established success in beauty care failed to support an extension into the toothpaste category,” noted Kantar.

“With one in three new products dead, or dying, by the end of year 2, the ultimate goal of innovation should be more than just delivering a minimum viable product. Businesses should aim to deliver meaningfully different innovations, ones that solve consumer problems better than the existing options and speak to their instincts and emotions,” it concluded.

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