MMNPL Expert Panelist Piera Jolly, of JollyMom.com, Nominates Memorable Products for Moms

September 27, 2010

When reviewing memorable products from the past year, it only makes sense to tap into the group responsible for more than 80% of home purchasing decisions – moms. Piera Jolly, a mother, and the founder and editor-in-chief of JollyMoms.com, is dedicated to providing useful parenting information, products and trends. Here are Piera’s nominations* for the most memorable mommy-friendly products of the year.

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Ninja Kitchen Master Prep

The Ninja Kitchen Master is an all-in-one blender, food processor, smoothie/drink maker and mini food chopper. Launched in September 2009, the large 48oz pitcher has extreme cutting power, an interchangeable motor head and is dishwasher/microwave safe.

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Why Piera chose the Ninja Master Prep: The Master Prep is one and of the most useful small kitchen appliances I have come across in a long time. It can literally replace a blender, food processor, smoothie/drink maker and mini food chopper. It can even make ice cream, snow cones and sorbets. Because it does so much, the Ninja frees up a lot of counter and cabinet space for those of us who live in small spaces. My two favorite features are the power of the dual blade and convenience of the interchangeable motor head. The Ninja Master Prep’s dual blade can take entire ice cubes and turn them into snow within seconds. The interchangeable motor head also allows you to go from job to job without cleaning anything. The Ninja Master Prep is perfect when cooking for large parties, as you can go from one meal prep job to the next within minutes. This gadget is definitely a space, time and sanity saver in the kitchen!

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Barnes and Noble’s Nook

Launched October 2009, the Nook is a wireless eBook Reader with E Ink display. It is the first eBook reader with a color touch screen and Android operating system, and allows the user full access to Barnes and Noble’s eBook, newspaper, and magazine collection. The Nook also connects consumers to 3G wireless and Wi-Fi. Nook owners can also “lend” eBooks to friends through LendMe technology for fourteen days.

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Why Piera chose the Nook: What makes the Nook better than other eBook readers is the LendMe technology, which allows readers to lend their eBooks to friends and family! Just choose the eBook you want to share and send it to your friend’s Nook, computer or hand-held device enabled with Nook software. This means that you can share books with people who don’t have a Nook–they only have to have a Nook enabled device. FREE Nook software is available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android devices and PC. Couple the awesome features with a phenomenal price tag and the NOOK is definitely one of the best products of 2010!

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Bumbleride Flite Stroller

The Flite is a new addition to the Bumbleride Stroller line. Launched February 2010, it is a lightweight and compact stroller, weighing only 13lbs with an aluminum frame. The stroller has four-wheel suspension, wider profile tires, and an ultra slim fold allowing the carriage to be stored in tight spots. It functions and feels like a larger stroller without the extra size and weight.

Why Piera chose the Bumbleride Flite: Any mom or dad that has owned a Bumbleride stroller knows they are always top notch quality. What I love about the Flite in particular is that it offers parents the most versatility and value for their money. Unlike most umbrella strollers, the Flite’s four wheel suspension and larger/wider profile tires make it a cinch to get through tight spaces, giving parents the best maneuverability. Despite its small footprint, the Flite is spacious and comfortable and really feels like a full size stroller. The best feature of all is that it can be used from infancy and up to 50 pounds making the Flite a great value! It even comes with a car seat adapter and is compatible with many of the most popular infant car seats on the market.

VTech MobiGo

The new MobiGo, introduced in February 2010, is a touch screen game console for children 3-8 years old and combines touch screen technology with early learning games to aid in skill development. Users can play interactive games, draw/color pictures and use the sliding QWERTY keyboard.

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Why Piera chose Mobigo: The VTech MobiGo teaches a wide range of skills including math, vocabulary, spelling, logic and categorization. The MobiGo comes with one basic game called Touch & Learn, but there are also 11 other game cartridges. Plus, you can also download free games with VTechs Learning Lodge Software. The MobiGo is a great way for kids to learn while having fun!

Sport-Brella

The Sport-Brella is a beach umbrella, sun tent and rain shelter. The 9-foot wide umbrella was launched in March 2010 and protects against rain, wind and sun with SPF 50+ shade protection. The waterproof structure has side flaps, top wind vents, and side zippered windows, and also has pockets inside the protected flaps for storage.

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Why Piera chose the Sport-Brella: The Sport-Brella is one of the most convenient and easy-to-use products of 2010–especially for families! The Sport-Brella opens just like an umbrella and is compact just like an umbrella; however, once open the Sport-Brella has side flaps that you stake down to the ground, providing the best in both sun and weather protection. The Sport-Brella is perfect for active families who attend sporting events throughout the year. The compact size of the Sport-Brella makes it easy to just keep in the car and use whenever it’s needed. Of course, it is also great for the beach, pool, camping, and more.

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H17txt with Motospeak

The H17 is a new Text-to-Speech Bluetooth headset launched at Verizon Wireless in April 2010. When paired with the application, the headset, will read text messages in real time. The user can also customize an automated response that alerts senders the user is driving.

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Why Piera chose the H17txt with Motospeak: The H17txt with Motospeak is a bluetooth headset that actually reads text and email messages to you as they come in and tells you who sent each message. Now you can keep your eyes on the road–where they belong! The H17txt with Motospeak has many great features, but my favorite is that you can customize an automated response letting the person who just texted or emailed you know that you will respond as soon as you reach your destination. This is an awesome feature because many times we feel obligated to respond to a text message or email right away–especially if it concerns business matters. The H17txt can even translate 150 acronyms such as “lol”, “btw” and “l8r” when the text message is read aloud. With people becoming more aware of the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, the H17txt with Motospeak is a must-have for drivers not willing or able to totally give up their cell phones in the car.

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VTech V.Reader

Launched June 2010, as the first children’s animated e-book system, the V.Reader provides children with building blocks and fun practicing skills. There are over 100 stories available with similar functions to the Kindle. It has touch-screen navigation and is designed for children 3-8 years old. It is lightweight, user-friendly and educational.

Why Piera chose the V.Reader: The V.Reader operates on a highly intuitive touch screen and it even comes with a stylus pen for kids to use. The story cartridges each come with a story and a variety of educational games designed to build reading skills. Kids will learn about reading comprehension, build their vocabulary, work on phonetics and more. Just like a book, kids “turn the page” in these animated stories either by touching the screen or with the two large buttons at the bottom of the V.Reader. In addition, during the story kids can touch the page to interact with the characters. There’s even a dictionary that will read children the definition of words in child-friendly language that kids will understand. All of these interactive features make the V.Reader highly engaging and a lot of fun for kids!

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Personal Microderm System

The Personal Microderm System is a home skin treatment designed to restore and renew skin. Introduced in July 2010, this hand-held device uses aluminum oxide crystals to smooth away dead skin cells, diminishing signs of aging.

Why Piera chose the Personal Microderm:  The Personal Microderm System is basically a hand-held microdermabrasion device for the home. In a spa or dermatologists office, you would pay $100-$200 per microdermabrasion treatment, with weekly treatments for a couple of months for the best results. The Personal Microderm System uses the same aluminum oxide crystals as the $10,000 machines found at a dermatologist’s office, but for a tiny fraction of the cost. For the cost of just one trip to the dermatologist, all women can get professional results at home without having to spend a fortune.

*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 Piera Jolly, please visit our expert panel page.

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For more information on upcoming MMNPL products, see our Twitter handle, @MMNPL.


Expert Panelist Deborah Cassell of Candy Industry Nominates Products for MMNPL Survey

September 20, 2010

Several new and delicious candies and snacks were introduced this year. From innovative sweet and salty combinations, to revamped classics, to healthy snacks – the food industry delivered a wealth of tasty temptations. Food and candy expert, Deborah Cassell, executive editor of Candy Industry and Retail Confectioner magazines at BNP Media, gives us her picks on which 2010 treats were the most memorable* (product selections from Deborah, summaries compiled by MMNPL staff).

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Yogi Granola Crisps

Using ingredients to support the mind, body and spirit, Yogi blended its new Granola Crisps with its signature “ancient” grains. Launched in December 2009, these crunchy, bite-sized flakes offer intrigue and the perfect amount of sweetness in three flavors: baked cinnamon raisin, fresh strawberry crunch, and mountain blueberry flax.


 

 

 

 

 

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FunkyChunky’s Chip-Zel-Pop

A new addition to the FunkyChunky family in July 2010, Chip-Zel-Pop is a unique blend of sweet and salty that will leave you begging for more. This tantalizing treat features FunkyChunky’s fresh, buttery caramel corn, salty pretzels and crunchy potato chips, drizzled with rich caramel and dark, milk and white chocolates. Yumeliciousness for sure.


Popcorners by Medora Snacks

In August 2010, all-natural Popcorners changed the shape of popcorn. A delicious snack with the snap of a chip and the wholesome goodness of popcorn, Popcorners are popped with real corn and the finest all natural ingredients. With butter, kettle, sea salt and white cheddar flavors, you can satisfy your cravings and snack smartly.



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Newman’s Own Organics Licorice Twists

Newman’s Own introduced the first licorice twist made from organic products in August 2010. This candy is great for health-conscious consumers, as it is low in fat and sodium and contains no trans-fats or cholesterol. A healthier alternative, Newman’s Own Organics Licorice Twists come in great tasting strawberry, pomegranate, tangerine and original flavors.


Nestle Butterfinger Snackerz

The newest creation from Butterfinger is the Butterfinger Snackerz. Launched in September 2010, these bite-sized treats have a smooth, Butterfinger flavored center, topped with a peanut butter drizzle. As always, Butterfinger satisfies your taste buds with its crispy, crunchy, buttery flavor.

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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 Deborah Cassell, please visit our expert panel page.

For more information on the upcoming MMNPL survey, check back regularly and follow us on twitter, @MMNPL.


Real World Launch Tactics

July 13, 2010

“What specific tactics are you planning to bring your launch strategies to life? Today’s launch tool kit contains an ever-growing array of methods you can activate to grab consumer attention. New tactics are being invented each day, as are new twists on tactics that have been around for decades. Choosing which tactics (old, new or a combination of both) match your new product’s personality and budget becomes increasingly more challenging as the variety of potential campaign elements escalates. All launch choices should be based on your brand’s attributes, the dynamics of the marketplace, how your new product fits within today’s retail environment, the benefits the new product brings to users, and your target consumers’ behaviors and preferences.“To make this discussion simpler, we’ve divided it into two sections—advice on real world tactics, and advice on how to launch in the cyber world. Of course, most things you do in the real world should be translated into online applications to create a fully integrated launch campaign. For example, if you plan a launch event, you’ll be promoting it off -line while talking about it on your Web site, blog, Twitter handle and Facebook fan page, and through other social media channels. Also, your print or TV ads will contain information to drive people to your online properties where they can learn about or buy the product.

“It’s impossible to discuss every possible real world tactic. Your launch plan is limited only by your imagination, budget and target launch date.  The tactics we’ve highlighted here are those we’ve witnessed to be highly effective for not only the Most Memorable New Product Launch winners, but for our own clients and other companies as well. In addition to tactics, we’ve included some general launch advice…”

Read more about launch tactics and advice in chapter 8 of The NEW Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products. If you would like help planning your next launch, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR


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.


Create Key Messages

June 17, 2010

Tip 41: Create key messages

“If you put together messages without a framework, you will probably be mired in wordsmithing before you know it. Instead, begin by working logically from questions to answers. Assemble key individuals who will be involved in your launch, such as the brand manager, thought leaders from your public relations and advertising agencies, internal personnel with marketing savvy, and consumers. Ask each individual to write down any questions they think might be asked about the product, from the global to the specific. How does this work? What’s new about it? How much will it cost? How long will it last? Where can I buy it? Why would I buy this when the competition already has a better product on the market? Who tested the product to prove its efficacy? At this point, all questions are important to consider and none should be disregarded as irrelevant.

“Working with a trained facilitator (from your PR agency or a resource within the company), write all the questions on a flip chart or whiteboard so the group can see them. Review the queries to learn what the group thinks about them. Then ask the participants—working either alone or in teams of two or three—to group all of the questions into buckets. These will most likely address the product’s benefit to the consumer and what is new and different about it. We suggest having two or three buckets, one for each subject.

“Now comes the hard part: the facilitator needs to keep a relatively tight rein on the participants. Break people into groups and ask each team to formulate one sentence with the dominant answer or statement about the subject matter addressed in each bucket. Compare the input from the groups. You will find that the answers are usually very similar and will give you the essence of your key messages. Test each message you formulate by asking this question: If people hear, understand, believe and act on each key message, will it drive sales of the product and make the launch a success? If the answer is yes, you have likely formulated effective key messages.  Be sure to take a break at various intervals, as messaging requires time and perspective that can be gained only through discussions about each message and its meaning.”

Read more about creating key messages on page 100 of The NEW Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products. If you would like help planning your next launch, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR


How Social Media is Changing Launch – Joan Schneider and Julie Hall discuss ideas from “The NEW Launch Plan”

June 3, 2010

Follow this link to watch Schneider and Hall talk about how social media is transforming new product launches, and discuss their favorite social media case studies.

“The NEW Launch Plan,” available at BNPmedia.com and at Amazon.com, is a business book for brand and marketing professionals, written by Joan Schneider, President, and Julie Hall, EVP/Partner, of Schneider Associates.  Authors Schneider and Hall draw upon decades of experience launching new products and showcase real world strategies and tactics used in highly effective product introductions. “The NEW Launch Plan” is replete with case studies from brand managers on the front lines of the battle for market share, and demonstrates how creative, integrated marketing ideas fuel and sustain launch success.

David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” commented: “In today’s always on, YouTube-infested, Twitter-centric world, it’s much tougher to launch a new product than even a few years ago. If you’re ready to launch a new consumer product into the national market, ‘The NEW Launch Plan’ is your blueprint for success.”

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


Launch Basics: What You Need to Do Every Time

May 20, 2010

“While the strategies and tactics used for each new product launch vary according to the nature of the product, the target audience, trends in the media, retail distribution and consumer lifestyles, certain bedrock principles are required for planning and executing every new product launch. Following these launch basics will put you on the path toward success.  Ignoring them will put your launch in peril, no matter how exciting or innovative your new product or service may be.

Tip 1: Assign someone who is strategic and creative to lead the launch team.

“Brand or product managers make the best launch team leaders. These are people who are passionate about the product and have a single-minded focus to make it successful.  Unlike people higher up in the corporate food chain, brand or product managers are focused on the task at hand. Good brand and product managers live the product every day and know how to get things done.  They also are more apt to have the requisite marketing expertise required to lead a launch, something CEOs and presidents often lack. If you’re a company leader and you think that you should lead the launch team, think again. There is too much riding on the outcome not to put someone in charge who can live, eat and breathe the launch.

“Our only caveat is to involve the CEO along the way in planning, as there is nothing worse than presenting a finalized launch plan the CEO doesn’t like and won’t support because he or she was not part of the process. In our experience, involving the CEO in key planning meetings creates the alignment necessary to ensure the launch plan is enthusiastically received. Also, avoid putting someone in charge of the launch team who is driven solely by sales figures. Launch is an art and a science. Numbers alone don’t always tell the whole story about what is happening during a launch. Someone interested only in sales figures may be apt to pull the plug too early on a launch if sales targets aren’t being met. You have to be able to look behind the sales numbers to really know what’s going on.

Look for a launch team leader who is skilled at:

  • Bringing people together from various marketing disciplines to produce an integrated campaign.
  • Communicating and reinforcing launch strategies and product messages so team members are consistent throughout the planning and implementation process.
  • Fostering innovation in launch strategies and tactics.
  • Generating enthusiasm, confidence and a can-do team spirit that will be required at critical moments.”

Read the other basic launch tips in chapter 3 of The NEW Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products. If you would like help planning your next launch, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR


A New Paradigm—No Longer B2B or B2C, But B2E

May 4, 2010

“The omnipresence of the Internet in everyday life has been a prime game changing phenomenon for new product launches, and has created a new paradigm for marketers—the arrival of business-to-everyone, or B2E. In the United States, 74.7 percent of the population has Internet access; that’s over 304 million people. Overall, the Internet is the medium with which users spend the most time (32.7 hours/week), according to IT market intelligence giant International Data Corporation (IDC). This is equivalent to almost half of the total time spent each week using all media (70.6 hours), almost twice the time spent watching television (16.4 hours), and eight times more than reading newspapers and magazines (3.9 hours).

“When literally anyone around the world can visit your Web site, you are no longer aiming your messages at only your carefully targeted business to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) customers. Instead, you are talking to everyone—B2E. This may have broader implications for those in the B2B market since B2C companies are more accustomed to thinking of virtually anyone as a potential customer. In the more tightly controlled B2B arena—particularly in the business service sector— companies usually talk to a carefully selected group of target customers and prospects. Now anyone, including your competition, can visit your Web site and see your products, pricing, and case studies, and learn how you are positioning your wares. No one cares whether you characterize your product, service or company as B2C or B2B; all they want is information available 24/7 brought to them by Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines that provide rapid search access.”

Read more about the emergence of B2E on page 10 of The NEW Launch Plan: 152 Tips, Tactics and Trends from the Most Memorable New Products. If you would like help planning your next launch, contact us at launch@schneiderpr.com or on Twitter @SchneiderPR


Introducing “The NEW Launch Plan” – Joan Schneider and Julie Hall discuss topics from their new book

April 27, 2010

Follow this link to watch Schneider and Hall talk about the book, upcoming trends, key findings from the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey, their favorite case studies, and the concept of B2E – Business to Everyone.

“The NEW Launch Plan,” available at BNPmedia.com and at Amazon.com, is a business book for brand and marketing professionals, written by Joan Schneider, President, and Julie Hall, EVP/Partner, of Schneider Associates.  Authors Schneider and Hall draw upon decades of experience launching new products and showcase real world strategies and tactics used in highly effective product introductions. “The NEW Launch Plan” is replete with case studies from brand managers on the front lines of the battle for market share, and demonstrates how creative, integrated marketing ideas fuel and sustain launch success.

David Meerman Scott, author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” commented: “In today’s always on, YouTube-infested, Twitter-centric world, it’s much tougher to launch a new product than even a few years ago. If you’re ready to launch a new consumer product into the national market, ‘The NEW Launch Plan’ is your blueprint for success.”

If you would like help planning your next launch, 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.