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.

Stirring Up the Competition: McDonald’s Introduces New Real Fruit Smoothies

August 5, 2010

Will McDonald’s Real Fruit Smoothies resonate with health conscious consumers? McDonald’s is certainly no stranger to memorable product launches, having made the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey’s Top 10 multiple times since 2002, most recently at #2 in 2009 with the McCafé line. So will the Real Fruit Smoothie swirl up interest and product trial, or just blend in with the bevy of food product introductions this year?

With 2009’s launch of the McCafé, McDonald’s sparked “coffee wars” with Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and smaller chains around the country. After McDonald’s used aggressive advertising to establish and steal market share for McCafé, the entire coffee category grew, so McDonald’s success in raising awareness led to some competitors also experiencing a boost in sales. This summer’s introduction of smoothies to the series is expected to parallel the launch of the original McCafé line, growing the entire smoothie category, which was valued around $2.5 billion in 2007 by Mintel.

Sofia Therios, marketing director at McDonald’s, explains, “Even though we aren’t the first in the category, we are committed to growing the category.”

Established smoothie makers like Jamba Juice, Panera, and Smoothie King have a similar attitude towards the launch, hoping that McDonald’s big product push will expand overall interest in the category. But given McDonald’s size and commitment to creating a more wholesome product with real fruit, the original smoothie chains have good reason to worry.

On July 13th, McDonald’s premiered two flavors, Wild Berry and Strawberry-Banana, at a value price of $2.29 for a 12 oz. drink compared to Jamba Juice’s smoothies which start at $3.55 for 16 oz. servings. In retaliation to the McDonald’s launch, Jamba Juice aired a commercial featuring the “Cheeseburger Chill” smoothie, mocking McDonald’s entrance into the smoothie market and roots as a burger chain.

The integrated marketing campaign for the McDonald’s smoothie launch includes television and print ads which feature dancers blending the smoothie, as well as paint filled balloon wars that imitate the splashes of flavor. McDonald’s combined these tactics with social media interaction and a creative website that gives fans an opportunity to make their own smoothie art by playing with an addictive spin art app. McDonald’s originally planned three days of nationwide smoothie giveaways, but canceled the giveaways due to fear of running out of the product. It’s possible that the company feared a supply shortage similar to what happened to 2009’s MMNPL winner, KFC’s Grilled Chicken, which ran out of free samples after an endorsement by Oprah.

Will McDonald’s once again liquefy the competition to reach the top 10 of the MMNPL survey? We’ll have to wait and see. Until then, satisfy your summer cravings with a smoothie, or a burger, or a burger smoothie.

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