6 Key Learnings from the 2012 Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey

March 7, 2013

Our EVP Julie Hall teamed up with Chief Behavioral Scientist of Sentient Decision Science Aaron Reid to share the results of the 2012 Most Memorable New Product Launch survey in a Google+ Hangout On Air. Since 2001, SA and Sentient Decision Science have conducted the survey to learn which product launches make lasting impressions with consumers and find key trend data on which marketing tactics are the most influential, where consumers are learning about new products and what product attributes are the most desirable. Here are some of the key takeaways from the hangout:

1. Avoid launching a new product during an election year: Sixty-seven percent (67%) of consumers surveyed could not recall a single new product launched in 2012. This is the second lowest recall rate of the decade, trumped only by the 69% unable to recall a new product launch in 2008—another election year. Repeated low recall rates during election years suggests that it is harder for brands to break through the proliferation of political ad clutter to gain consumer attention.

2. Political ads push new product ads from consumers minds: Respondents said that four out of the last ten commercials they could remember contained political messages. This shows that in an election year, consumers are less likely to recall new product ads, either because there are simply more political ads, or that the political ads make more of a lasting impression.

3. Domestically-made products are more popular than ever: “Made in The USA” was cited by 62% of consumers as influencing their purchasing decision, a five percent increase from two years ago.  “Made Locally” experienced a similar boost in influence, with 52% of respondents influenced by it, up from 48% in 2011 and 46% in 2010. MMNPL data from the past decade shows that attributes such as “Made in the USA”  spike in influence during presidential election years.

4. Amazon Kindle Fire still hot after nearly a year: Amazon’s Kindle Fire topped the Most Memorable New Product Launches list with 30% of surveyed consumers remembering the launch. Other products that made the top ten were Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Taco (#2, 18.8%), Tide Pods (#3, 15.6%), Pepsi Next (#4, 13%), Samsung Galaxy Note (#5, 11.7%), the all-new iPod Nano (#6, 10.6%), Nintendo’s Wii U (#7, 8.2%), Taco Bell Cantina Bowl (#8, 7.1%), Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (#9, 5.7%), and McDonadl’s Chicken McBites (#10, 4.9%).

5. Young & healthy at heart: Millenials are more concerned about product attributes such as high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, organic and low soidum than any other age bracket.

6. Dads are the new moms: More men are making household purchasing decisions than ever with 49% of  male respondents identifying themselves as the decision-makers. And increase of nearly ten percent since 2009.

To find out other key trends that emerged from our survey data, watch the video below. To download the 2012 MMNPL Data deck, click here.


The 5 Most Successful Tech Launches of 2012

December 19, 2012

By our visiting expert, Ross Rubin.

There were many well-executed and successful products in 2012, some meant more to their companies than others. Whether it was reinforcing an ecosystem or a pillar in a comeback, five products from five different companies stood out for how they fared with so much on the line. They are, alphabetized by company:

Apple iPad mini. Creating a new category of products is one of the hardest things to do. While it had a bit of help from the netbook in terms of establishing a need for a second device with a 10” display, the iPad was marked by consumers rushing out in droves to buy something they never knew they needed. Apple had been able to hold on to a commanding lead in the tablet market. Low-priced competition, though, coming first from the Amazon Kindle Fire and then from the Google Nexus 7, have cut into its market share. Apple, which once rebuked 7” tablets, needed to respond, but its business model involves making money on hardware, unlike Amazon.

The iPad mini is larger and significantly more expensive than the rivals that preceded it, but Apple has preserved compatibility with leading iPad apps and even brought over . At 80 percent of the size of the iPad’s screen, it is really more formidable competition for the iPad 2, which sells for $70 more but has almost identical specs and features, than it is for the value-conscious Kindle Fire.

Microsoft Surface. As the iPad continued to take nibbles of PC market share and healthy bites of its mindshare, Microsoft was readying two versions of Windows to fight back – Windows 8 Pro for running on machines with traditional PC processors and Windows RT for the same kinds of ARM chips used by iPads and Android tablets. What most people did not realize was that one of those versions was heading for an all-new Microsoft device dubbed Surface. While Microsoft had created its own devices before such as Xbox and the ill-fated Zune and Kin phones, much was made of Microsoft’s entry into a business where the company had previously licensed software to other device companies.

There was no way around it; Microsoft was now competing with its own licensees. However, most overlooked that the competition was limited to an emerging class of devices, the Windows tablet and not the notebooks and desktops that comprise virtually the entire PC market.

Surface is a tablet at heart, but, in large part recognizing a heritage of productivity emanating from the PC, it can be used one of two keyboard covers that click in to the device — a slim one with a tactile keyboard and an even slimmer “touch keyboard” that responds to presses on a slightly raised surface. The latter works surprisingly well, but the slightly more expensive “real” keyboard doesn’t sacrifice much thinness for a dramatically better keyboard experience. Now, Microsoft just needs to attract the aps to make its touch interface more competitive with those of other tablets.

Nintendo Wii U. Like the iPad, the Nintendo Wii ushered in a new way of thinking about a kind of product that had been around for a long time, the home console. Its low price and focus on motion gaming set it apart from other consoles. Eventually, though, the competition struck back with more precise motion controllers (Sony Move) and ways of doing motion control with no handheld controller at all (Microsoft Kinect) and the Wii started flagging in sales as Nintendo focused more on its next handheld device, the 3DS.

With the Wii U, which retains a similar although slightly larger and more rounded profile of its predecessor, Nintendo is betting on multiple displays, embedding a touchscreen into the bundled GamePad controller. Different games use the GamePad in different ways; some are imaginative, others just duplicate what’s on the TV (and some can be played only on the TV). Available starting at $299, the Wii U also includes a feature called TVii that However, the competition isn’t waiting to see if Nintendo’s bet pays out this time. Microsoft, for one, has responded with SmartGlass, which allows many different tablets and smartphones to connect with the existing Xbox 360 for games and extra TV show content.

Nokia Lumia 920. Many years ago, before the rise of Samsung, Apple or even the Blackberry, Nokia ruled the North American cell phone market, but its smartphones never caught on the way here the way they did in Europe. And over time, iOS and Android started eroding share on its home turf. The Finnish company vacillated between its popular but outdated Symbian software and its advanced but unknown Maemo operating system. Ultimately, a Microsoft executive came on board to take the helm as CEO and soon struck a deal with his former boss to put Windows Phone software on Nokia phones.

Nokia’s first efforts in the North American market had modest success but didn’t move the needle much. Now, Nokia is bringing more to the table, combining more of the style of its original Windows Phone, the Lumia 800 with the larger display and LTE of the Lumia 900 while throwing in some advanced tech goodies such as a touchscreen that can work with gloves, wireless charging and an optically stabilized camera. The resulting Lumia 920 is exclusive to AT&T this holiday. It will battle with the HTC Windows Phone 8x for Windows Phone high-end bragging rights and the recently released Android-based Droid DNA on Verizon for carrier pull.

Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlike Nokia, Samsung has been on a tremendous roll, riding the success of Android and becoming the dominant handset provider for it and the leading handset and smartphone vendor in the world. The previous Samsung Galaxy S products were strong sellers but varied significantly in terms of branding, design and sometimes even specifications such as whether they included a keyboard. That’s all been pushed aside iwth the Galaxy S III, which reflects Samsung’s now significant marketplace power. It’s essentially the same regardless of the carrier on which you get it.

Like the Lumia 920, the Galaxy S III includes an NFC chip for tapping information. It can also play a number of fancy tricks with Wi-Fi such as displaying a video from a Samsung television or automatically send photos taken at a party to another Galaxy S III. Fast-moving Samsung has already surpassed the 4.8” display of the Galaxy S III with the 5.5” display and stylus input of the Galaxy Note II also available on all four carriers, but the older phone will still be Samsung’s more mainstream option for some time to come.

Ross Rubin is principal analyst at Reticle Research and blogs at Techspressive. Please follow him on Twitter at @rossrubin.


Our Expert Picks The Top Five Tech Products of 2012

September 28, 2012

MMNPL’s Technology Expert Curtis Silver has more than experience when it comes to technology. Silver has written and worked for Wired.com, Gunnar Optiks, Technorati.com, and Digital Dads (writer of the 2nd best NFL column on the internet). Check out what our expert expects to be the most memorable tech products this year!

1. WiiU – What needs to be said about the first next generation system to be released by the big three? While Playstation and Xbox are still refining their next devices, Nintendo is first to the game – just in time for Christmas. With a handheld and portable controller, updating to HD and integrating more social factors, the WiiU is sure to be a huge hit.

2. Nokia Lumia 920 – This is the last chance for a Windows phone to grab enough market share to keep making Windows phones. The Lumia 920 is probably the sleekest, fastest mobile device that carries the Windows operating system. This is a nice phone. Easy to use, intuitive and streamlined. But is a multitude of colors enough to compete with Android and iOS? You are going to see more of these on the street in the coming months, as people realize that the fair market of operating systems makes for a stronger little guy.

3. iPhone 5 – I’m not a fan of the iPhone, but certainly of what it represents. While the iPhone is no more spectacular than the Samsung Galaxy III or the Motorola Razr, Apple still is able to not only innovate in their design and operating system, but easily profit while doing so. Love or hate Apple, their contribution to the hipster lifestyle can’t be ignored.

4. Origin PC Eon Laptops – Origin, a company made up of the former brains behind Alienware, is quickly becoming one of the elite manufacturers of high end gaming computers. Their EON line of gaming laptops include 3D options and amazing graphics and sound. Next time you go to PAX, E3 or CES check out how many gaming rigs are Origin PC’s. The Origin EON is going to bring Origin into the arena dominated by companies like Dell, and eventually push them out. Bottom line: if you are a gamer, you want an Origin.

5. Makerbot Replicator – An open source 3D printer? Yes please. This represents the future of so many independent industries, from animation to architecture and beyond. While the process still needs some refinement, this printer is the first step in a fairly new technology that is going to redefine how we mold and view the world.

Which do you think will be the most memorable? Let us know you expert opinion!


Launch Talk: What You Can Learn from the iPhone 5 Launch

September 13, 2012

No one launches products like Apple, and you can learn a lot from their hugely successful Apple Conference 2012 event. These events have become so iconic, they have truly changed the game when it comes to press conferences.

SA’s EVP Julie Hall and marketing coordinator Noel Fisher discuss how Apple manages to build buzz and gain media attention using the very traditional press conference.

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MMNPL Expert Panelist Char Partelow of SymphonyIRI Group Nominates Products for the 2010 Survey

November 4, 2010

From outdoor billboards to flat screen TV’s in malls, shoppers are constantly bombarded with advertisements. Few stand out and those who rise to the top must exhibit an innovative, creative marketing strategy to draw attention. Consumer packaged goods expert, Char Partelow of SymphonyIRI Group, offers her nominations* for the most memorable new product launches of the year (product choices by Char, summaries compiled by the MMNPL staff).

KFC’s Double Down Sandwich

In April, KFC launched a limited time bun-less Double Down sandwich scheduled to be discontinued in May but the Colonel had another thing coming. It quickly became a national sensation, and due to popular demand, it has no expiration date. Rivaling conventional burgers, the Double Down offers two pieces of bacon, and two slices of cheese, drizzled with sauce and held together by two chicken filets (grilled or fried).

Jello Mousse Temptations

Jello’s not just for kids anymore. In July, Jello created a new Mousse dessert item, offered in three flavors: Caramel Crème, Chocolate Indulgence, and Dark Chocolate Decadence. For the calorie conscious, this dessert is only 60 calories per pack and its convenient packaging is great for parents on the run.

Pretzel M&M

An interesting twist to the M&M line was launched this past May. The new candy incorporates a crunchy pretzel inside milk chocolate inside a colorful candy shell. A confused orange M&M was the dumbfounded ‘spokescandy’ for the media promotion, using an x-ray to see inside his crunchy exterior and reveal the pretzel inside.

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Last fall, Anheuser-Busch introduced a new line to the Budweiser/Bud Light label, Golden Wheat. This tasty beer was supported by a creative ad campaign and aligns with the Superior Drinkability slogan, offering a flavorful alternative in a light beer.

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Mountain Dew DEWmocracy2

In a DEWmocracy, the people rule. Mountain DEW launched a revolutionary marketing campaign involving social media and grass roots tactics to entice consumers to vote for their favorite flavor. The three flavor finalists were Mountain DEW Distortion, Mountain DEW Typhoon and Mountain DEW White Out which hit shelves in April. The winner was Mountain DEW White Out which became the new flavor for the brand.

Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee

Starbucks, a giant in the premium quick service coffee category, is testing the grocery aisles. VIA is Starbucks first on-the-go instant coffee packet which hit store shelves last fall, surprising competitors and constituting a bold leap for the brand.

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Apple iPad

What can they think up next? Apple launched the iPad in April, thrilling fans and stunning competitors. The iPad has the interface of an iPod touch with the functionality of a portable PC. Fully-featured, it can do it all with hundreds of thousands of available apps. Made completely with environmentally responsible products, the iPad is as eco-friendly as it is innovative. Beating analysis’s expectation, the iPad sold 3 million units in the first eighty days it was released.

Kleenex Hand Towels

Kleenex introduced an alternative to household wash towels this past March. The one-time-use hand towels were made to keep bathrooms and kitchens sanitary and safe. Offering a soft texture and dry-touch fibers in every sheet, Kleenex has created a practical towel alternative.

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*Not all products chosen by the MMNPL expert panelists are guaranteed to be included in the MMNPL survey due to our rigorous criteria for selecting new products.

For more information on Char Partelow, please visit out expert panel page.
For more information on upcoming MMNPL products, see our Twitter handle, @MMNPL.


An iPad Revolution: Joan Schneider writes about why the iPad transcends the hype in the Cramer Insights Newsletter

June 28, 2010

Despite the wide ranging opinions of the iPad before it’s launch on March 5, 2010, this revolutionary product became one of the most successful product launches in Apple’s history, selling more than 3 million products to date. On Cramer Insights, Cramer’s thought leadership and perspectives newsletter, Joan Schneider, president of Schneider Associates and author of “The New Launch Plan,” discusses why the iPad deserves recognition as one of the most well designed communication devices to date. “Companies have started finding ways to use the iPad to enhance business. Now a host of other manufacturers are introducing their own tablet devices to jump into this runaway market,” Schneider states in the article.

To learn more about why the iPad transcends the hype, please follow this link to the Cramer Insights summer 2010 newsletter. To sign up for the Cramer Insights thought leadership newsletter, please click here.

About Cramer:

Cramer is a digital marketing and event solutions agency that fuses creativity and technology to design and execute experiences that move audiences. For more than 25 years, the agency has helped the world’s leading and emerging brands win and retain loyal customers, launch products and inspire sales teams. Reaching audiences online, offline, through emerging media and face-to-face, Cramer creates personalized, integrated marketing programs and events that maximize marketing impact—and their clients’ dollars. Cramer’s clients include Boston Scientific, Progress Software, EMD Serono, Inc., Bayer Healthcare and PricewaterhouseCoopers among others. Cramer is a privately held company. For more information, please go to http://www.crameronline.com, or visit their blog at http://www.awidernet.com.

If you would like help planning your next product introduction or launch event, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR.


Ten Axioms for Product Launch Mastery from Apple’s iPad Introduction

April 5, 2010

By Joan Schneider and Julie Hall

There were parties outside Apple stores all over the country Friday night and into Saturday morning. Customers who pre-ordered iPads waited patiently, excited to be the first to try this revolutionary new product.

In all the discussions about what the iPad does or doesn’t do, people forget that Apple makes products for what people want to do, not always what we think we need to do – but that’s why we want them. At best, the iPad will become the ultimate media consumption machine – where apps, magazine content, news, books and multimedia become more enjoyable to experience than on any other device. But beyond the features and utility discussion – what’s clear is the iPad launch is already another successful, profitable marketing coup from Steve Jobs, who made an appearance at the Palo Alto store, and Apple’s product launch masters. Early reports show weekend sales doubled analyst estimates, reaching 700,000. So how does Apple make consumers crave? They follow a formula for excellence.

Here are Apple’s 10 Axioms for Product Launch Mastery:

  1. Creating a superior, revolutionary, market leading product, with a customer centric design and exceptional functionality, so the product becomes the ‘star’ in advertising and the consumer’s mind.
  2. Enveloping the product in secrecy so there is a mysterious element to the launch.
  3. Creating drama when information is revealed to generate multiple bites of the news apple.
  4. Using a high profile spokesperson sparingly so when he appears, everyone listens.
  5. Establishing exclusivity through an initial high price point to attract early adopters who establish the ‘cool factor.’
  6. Motivating a large base of loyal brand aficionados and ambassadors who serve as an army of influencers and spread the word (and viral video) about the product.
  7. Staggering product availability to give word-of-mouth about the product a chance to build while managing the supply chain so that planned releases spike increased demand and drive traffic.
  8. Finding, sticking to and reinforcing brand positioning so that everything the company does illustrates the product’s simplicity and coolness.
  9. Developing the product with exclusive features so that others cannot copy the design and functionality, and even if they do—the original product is perceived as better.
  10. Keeping the details about the product under lock and key so that even developers have no idea how it really works until the launch.

Now that you know what they’re doing, does it make you want one any less? We look forward to watching the rest of Apple’s launch plan unfold, as the iPad becomes yet another product to demonstrate their launch mastery.

If you would like help planning your next launch, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR.


Can Apple Shake Up Digital Device Market with the iPad?

February 5, 2010

Apple seeks to once again revolutionize the digital world with the launch of its new iPad in March. Apple’s website describes the tablet computer, which includes a 9.7-inch touchscreen display and iPhone operating system, as “the best way to experience the web, email, photos, and video.”

With the iPad, Apple has created the first product to close the gap between the laptop and smartphone. Apple’s iPhone and MacBook models are on top seller lists and have contributed strongly to the company’s revenue growth. With demand for both the iPhone and Apple’s line of laptops going strong, this may be perfect time for Apple to introduce a product that combines the features of both devices.

How will the iPad be differentiated from the iPhone and MacBook? First, it will tap into the e-book market. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs announced that iBook apps have been developed for the iPad, which will provide access to e-book content from several major publishers, creating competition with other devices like the Amazon Kindle. Second, it will create an even more personal and portable experience than working on a MacBook or an iPhone. Consumers will be able to flip through a photo album, browse music, read an e-book, and surf the web—all with their fingertips.

The iPad will be available in two models—one with Wi-Fi and one with AT&T 3G coverage. Models will be offered in three sizes (16, 32, and 64 GB) and range in price from $499 (for the least expensive Wi-Fi model) to $829 (for the most expensive 3G model).

Apple’s target market for the iPad seems to be anyone and everyone—from children who play games, watch movies, and read books, to business men and women who peruse the news, check stocks and write emails. The device has been met with some criticism, with comments centered around the device’s inability to run flash video and multitask. The real question is: How will the mass market respond to this new technology? Is it another revolutionary success for Apple, or will the hot streak finally end?


The Palm Pre vs. The iPhone 3GS

June 16, 2009

iPhone vs Pre

The first week in June was huge for techies and Smartphone lovers, as two of the most highly anticipated launches promised both fierce competition and delight for users. On Saturday, June 6th, Sprint users lined up for the Palm Pre Smartphone. In the 1990s, Palm led the way with handheld computers and made headlines with the Palm Treo, but recently Palm has been overshadowed by Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry. Palm hopes the launch of the Pre will help reestablish brand relevance. Just two days after the release of the Pre, Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS, which becomes available June 19. Palm and Apple are both sure to advertise heavily, but are embarking upon two different strategies.

BREAKDOWN: Palm Pre vs. Apple iPhone 3GS

Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS have been trending topics on Twitter for the several weeks. Palm was quick to use social media in its marketing campaign, launching the Pre on Facebook. The visually stimulating, 60-second ad, shot in China with a Zen-like theme, plays on viewer emotions and demonstrates how the phone can manage the user’s life with ease using the breezy, glide-touch screen.

Ad executives unofficially estimated that Palm spent $50 to $75 million on its ad campaign, but are also relying on the buzz created on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to amplify the chatter about the product. Sprint (Pre’s carrier) has even plugged Twitter into their “Now Network” campaign, hoping to appeal to early adopters on social media sites.

Apple, already a dominant presence, holds 20% of the U.S. Smartphone market, second only to Research In Motion (RIM) which holds 55%. In 2008, Apple spent $486 million on advertising, and it’s safe to assume with the rise of the iPhone 3GS, 2009 will follow that trend. Apple hired movie director, David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) to direct the advertising for the 3GS, which takes center stage in the commercial, unlike the Pre in Palm’s spot. Currently, Apple does not maintain a presence on Twitter and its advertising far outshines their Facebook Page.

With society becoming more active in social media, but still engaged by traditional PR and advertising tactics, which launch to do you think will be more successful? Is it the campaign or the product that will win the day?


Can Apple Do It Again? Only Time will Tell

July 24, 2008

Last year, the Apple iPhone was the #1 Most Memorable New Product. This year Apple has another product hoping to claim the crown – the Macbook Air. There is one major factor hindering the Air’s chances of being the Most Memorable Product-its early first quarter release. The Air has all of the makings of a winner, from a strong television advertising campaign to media, blogger and word of mouth buzz.But will there be enough buzz to continue throughout 2008? 

 

The Macbook Air launch was accompanied by a unique commercial, which showcased the thin quality of the notebook, while effectively sticking to Apple’s creative standards. In the commercial, a hand carefully unthreads a manila envelope and reaches inside to pull out the Macbook Air. In the background is the song “New Soul” by Yael Naïm, one of the most popular songs of the year. The commercial helped Apple build buzz through the internet, including a series of parody videos on YouTube, where users pull different things out of similar manila envelopes. Even though the videos are sometimes showing the Air in a negative light, the response still builds the brand and product awareness.

 

According to some online sources , the Air sold well, but was not a blockbuster register ringer. If this computer was released by anyone other than Apple, would there have been as much buzz?

 

Let’s look at another computer related launch. In 2007, Windows Vista was #2 on the Most Memorable list, even though sales were low, and reviews were pretty harsh. Why? Because Microsoft is such an enormous brand, the media loves to talk about them.  Apple is no different. The Macbook Air launched with a catchy commercial, a nearly untouchable brand name, and millions of dollars of marketing and advertising.   Plus it’s been positioned as the most environmentally friendly of all Apple notebooks, thus creating a storm of buzz.  Without the early release, we think Apple could have been looking for a shot at the #1 spot again.

 

As I said, timing will be the only reason the Macbook Air does not become a Most Memorable Product. With what you know about launches, what spot do you think the Macbook will command?