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.

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.


Launch of the Week: Barilla Microwavable Meals

July 27, 2012

Barilla, famous for their fresh, frozen and dried pastas, sauces and meals, has launched its first line of microwavable meals. Ready in 60 seconds, 320 calories each and 5 great flavors to choose from- will this pronto pasta be perfecto for Barilla?

Launch of the Week: Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars

July 20, 2012

The first episode of our new “Launch of the Week” video series where we take a look at interesting product launches and what we can learn from them.

Pepperidge Farm Launches Bread that Smiles Back

October 3, 2011

For more than a decade, children have enjoyed the famous Goldfish crackers from Pepperidge Farm (smiling Goldfish crackers were launched by Schneider Associates many years ago) Now, Pepperidge Farm is leveraging their smiling Goldfish equity by launching Goldfish Sandwich Bread– the bread that smiles back.

The bread comes in three varieties: Soft White, Soft 100% Whole Wheat, and Soft Honey Whole Wheat. All three contain no high fructose corn syrup and boast 3 grams of fiber per serving for only 120 calories. Not to mention, the bread is completely crust-free, ensuring that the pickiest eaters will have no reason to dislike it.

“We are excited to offer kids and the young at heart a fun and healthful new way to enjoy their favorite sandwiches,” Maureen Linder, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Fresh and Frozen Bakery at Pepperidge Farm said in a press release from the company.

To celebrate the launch, Pepperidge Farms conducted a national survey to unveil the hidden troubles of making lunches. In “The Shape of Sandwiches” survey, they found that parents often find making lunches difficult and even frustrating. Nine out of 10 moms revealed that their children find their sandwiches more appealing if the bread is cut into fun and creative shapes and sizes, and are more likely to eat them. 50% of mothers participating in the survey revealed that their children have requested triangular sandwiches while 23% revealed that their children have wanted their food in shapes of faces. Pepperidge farm created a product based on a unique consumer insight, fitting into the recent trend of Customer Calibration™ that we have been seeing.

Aside from the survey, Pepperidge Farms also participated in Evo ’11, a three-day social media conference for women in Park City, Utah, to showcase their new bread. They provided lunch for the conference on Friday, July 8th, where the new sandwich bread was a featured product. A photo op included a scenic picnic backdrop and a blow-up replica of the Goldfish mascot, Finn. Participant pictures were all uploaded onto the official Pepperidge Farms Facebook page.

So far, the reviews for Goldfish Sandwich Bread have been positive, which is no surprise considering the brand developed the product based on consumer insights. Is it the best thing since sliced bread? Could be.

Downy Launches New Unstopables: In-Wash Scent Boosters

September 19, 2011

Downy offers up another new home product we’ve got our eye on for the 2011 year.

Downy is giving consumers a boost to the senses with its new Downy Unstopables that deliver a fresh-out-of-the-laundry smell all day. When these scented beads are added to the wash, they dissolve and leave clothes with a long-lasting fresh scent, which Downy claims can last up to twelve weeks (perfect for students). Although Downy Unstopables make your clothes smell fresh, they still must be used with detergent and fabric softener, and so the product represents a new addition to one’s laundry care regimen.

Downy launched the new Unstopables with a commercial targeted toward moms. Comedian and actress Amy Sedaris is featured and provides a quick, quirky tutorial on how to use the new scented beads.  The character played by Sedaris is a retro chic housewife claiming to be a “laundry expert.” Downy also posted the new commercial on their YouTube channel, Facebook page and official website.

Supporting the ad campaign, Downy has been conducting a sampling promotion where consumers can sign up for on the Facebook page and receive one of 2 million free samples.  After signup, consumers are entered into a drawing for a $1,000 gift card toward all Downy products.

It’s undeniable that everyone loves the fresh-out-of-the laundry smell, but at a time when lots of consumers are cutting chemicals and scents out of their lives, it will be interesting to see how the product fares with its intended audience. Will the new Downy entrant be an Unstopable success?

New Balance Goes Minimalist With Minimus Launch

August 8, 2011


Here’s another product we’re keeping our eye on for the MMNPL.

New Balance is toeing the line on the minimalist running craze with its Spring 2011 release of its Minimus – a product that fits the trend but is steeped in consumer insights and research.

The New Balance Minimus, or NB Minimus for short, represents the company’s first venture into minimalist shoes, a rapidly growing market for the hardcore running community.

“NB Minimus is a barefoot-inspired line of shoes created specifically for runners seeking a truly minimalist experience,” said Katherine Petrecca, the manager for the new line. “We view these shoes very much as tools that encourage better running form, and help strengthen the legs and feet. As important, a great minimal shoe should deliver increased ground feel and control, which is what makes them so much fun to use.”

Nb other You don’t have to be a competitive runner to use a Minimus shoe, either. New Balance created three different shoes for different uses: Minimus Road, Minimus Trail and Minimus Wellness. The first two are self-explanatory while the Minimus Wellness is intended as a shoe that doesn’t have to be used just for exercise.

This isn’t the first line of shoes to hit the minimalist market. The Merrell Barefoot shoes, the Vibram Five Fingers and the Mizuno Universe Wave 3 racing flats all have a healthy following among runners. However, what sets the NB Minimus apart from its competitors is its reliance on incorporating feedback from real minimalist running enthusiasts into their designs.

A video on their website shows Team New Balance ultra-marathoner Anton Krupicka describing how he had begun cutting the soles off of his running shoes in frustration because he could not find a shoe with a small enough drop, and the other minimalist shoes available weren’t protective enough. This led to an “aha!” moment for New Balance’s designers: Send prototypes to real runners and encourage them to make modifications to the shoes and send them back. The result? A minimalist shoe made by runners, for runners.

The minimalist movement is all about providing the most natural running experience, and that means using a shoe that feels like it’s barely there. Its growth is thanks in large part to the research done by Dr. Daniel Lieberman at Harvard University, which found that the most experienced (read: best) runners avoid landing on their heels to minimize impact and maximize energy and endurance. It is also based on the ideas in Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run.

The NB Minimus design is ultralight (under 8.5 ounces) and incredibly low to the ground with just a 4 mm drop from the heel to the forefoot.

New Balance took all of the research and information they had gathered in developing the Minimus and created educational launch events which promised “There’s a better way to run. Learn to train more efficiently, to keep you on the road, to run longer, faster, and more comfortably than ever before.” These events were designed to advocate for minimalist running, teach proper form and to dispel some of the myths around the minimalist movement.

By integrating customers into the development of their product, and positioning themselves as an expert in the minimalist running category, New Balance has definitely created and launched a line of products designed to go the distance.

Range Rover Evoque Campaign Emphasizes Interaction

June 14, 2011

Range Rover has rolled out an impressive campaign to launch the 2012 Evoque. The initial launch event in July 2010 showcased the new compact SUV model, the smallest of the Range Rover line. The Evoque has all of form and function of other Range Rovers, but with greater fuel-efficiency because it 35% lighter than the Range Rover Sport. The launch event was held at Kensington Palace in London in a partnership with Vogue magazine, and closely resembled a fashion show, (appropriate given that Range Rover named Victoria Beckham as the creative design executive behind Evoque.)

Recently Range Rover has been ramping up its marketing with a trans-continental concert event May 21st featuring Cee Lo Green in Times Square, Paolo Nutini in Milan and Mark Ronson in Shanghai performing simultaneously. Evoque models were lined up on the square along with interactive displays, so that attendees could look “under the hood” of the new vehicles. This is part of a 100-city global Evoque tour that Range Rover is calling “The Pulse of the City,” playing off the Evoque’s city-friendly size and style.

 To capitalize on the personalization trend we have seen in so many new product introductions, Range Rover hired The Brooklyn Brothers, and Somesuch & Co to produce an interactive online promotional video, Being Henry. The trailer coaxes viewers to visit the website and make in-video choices for the protagonist, Henry, by dragging him or clicking on options – like a modern, interactive “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

The video is quirky, and the events that unfold are hilariously unexpected. The video theme supports the Evoque’s customizable features, as well as the tag line Range Rover is using for the vehicle: Where will you end up?

 Following the trend of stylized, smaller vehicles like the Mini wagon and Nissan Juke, the Range Rover is an SUV that provides an attractive, more fuel efficient option at a time when gas prices are rising precipitously.

Personalize Your Water with MiO and Transform Plain H20 into a Flavorful Beverage

April 13, 2011

Another new product that may be included in the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey: MiO water-enhancer, by Kraft Foods.

Personalization is a popular trend among consumers, so what could be better than instantly mixing your own drink just the way you like it? Last month, Kraft launched its new caffeine free, artificially sweetened water-enhancer, Mio, in six different flavors.

MiO in Italian means “mine.” In an interview with Packaging Digest, Bridget MacConnell, senior manager, corporate affairs at Kraft Foods, explained “[that’s] what makes MiO so special—it lets me make my drink my way.” MiO senior brand manager Lisa Laibe talked with the Chicago Tribune about the idea of personalization. “Consumers are really looking to have their personal tastes reflect in all things they’re doing and using. It’s particularly important for millennials, which Kraft pegs as those age 18 to 39.”

Found in supermarkets and sold in a convenient, portable pod container, MiO allows you to add a touch of Berry Pomegranate, Strawberry Watermelon, Fruit Punch, Mango Peach, Sweet Tea or Peach Tea to water for a new way to experience your favorite flavor. Each bottle contains about 24 servings at a price of around $3.99.

To launch MiO, Kraft hired a familiar face from YouTube to be the spokesman for the campaign: Brian Gallivan, more commonly known as “Sassy Gay Friend.” Gallivan stars in a number of viral videos encouraging young women to “FTS: Flip it, tip it and sip it.”

Aside from the YouTube promotion, MiO is advertising  on television, online and on Facebook. Free samples were sent out to 100,000 Facebook users in the weeks leading up to the launch as a giveaway promotion. Most of the consumer feedback was positive, and some fans even suggested new and creative ways to use MiO, like mixing it in ice cream, yogurt or soda.

With recent health news surfacing on the dangers of food colorings, MiO faces a challenge in connecting with health conscious consumers. Is MiO a beverage innovation, or a product launch with no real market? One thing is clear, MiO will be an interesting launch to watch in 2011.

Most Memorable New Product Launch Preview: Domino’s Pizza Turnaround

November 12, 2010

Patrick Richardson, Director of Integrated Marketing at Schneider Associates, presents Domino’s Pizza Turnaround. With a transparent approach to pizza-making, Domino’s listened to its customers’ complaints and pledged to enhance pizza quality, while showing customers the real ingredients that go into both its pizzas and its company.