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.

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.

Mentos Leaves the Flavor Choice UP2U

June 14, 2011

In May, Mentos launched UP2U Gum – two different flavors of gum in a single pack, giving consumers the choice of which flavor to chew at any given time. And if two choices aren’t enough, UP2U has released four different assortments of the dual-flavor pack: Daylight Mint/Mintnight Mint, Sweet Mint/Bubble Fresh, Berry Watermelon/Fresh Mint, and Mandarin Strawberry/Spearmint. Whether it’s a sweet, fruity taste you’re after, or that minty, just-brushed feeling – UP2U lets you act on your impulses.

The concept of a 2-in-1 flavored candy product is not necessarily an original idea – both Nerds and Stride’s Shift Gum have offered their sweet-toothed consumers a variety-pack of flavors in the past. What gives UP2U Gum the innovation advantage is its emphasis on the role of the consumer – a decision-maker, stepping up to make his or her own choice.

Beyond securing television and print advertisements, the Martin Agency kick-started UP2U’s social media campaign with the placement of several billboards in Chicago, urging people to call (800) 304-UCHOOSE. Callers hear an automated voice that directs them through a series of survey questions. A series of simple questions (“What is your favorite color?”) progress to increasingly stranger decisions. Prompts like “Where do you think grandpa is hiding?” and “What would be a good name for a mongoose farm?” engage the caller in making some bizarre choices.

After all the questions have been answered, callers receive this response: “Thank you, friend, for your choices and the hard work you put into choosing all of them. After analyzing your responses, it appears that Mentos UP2U gum is the perfect gum for you. Please buy some and visit us at facebook.com/up2u.”

From there, UP2U keeps the ball rolling on their social media campaign with online promotional deals. For 10 days through June 22nd, UP2U Facebook followers can log onto the product’s fan page, where every day at noon EST, the first 1,000 people to sign in receive a free pack of Mentos UP2U Gum.  This is the first layer of a large-scale social media sampling campaign/contest, which Mentos will gradually build on over the next couple of months.

Keeping in sync with the rising consumer trend of personalization and consumer participation, Mentos UP2U Gum serves up an interesting launch in the ever competitive gum category. It will be interesting to see if UP2U’s social push gives it the teeth to compete with chewing favorites like Trident, Orbit, Stride and Extra.

Have you tried this gum? Let us know which flavor you like best.

Pop Up Good, Clean Fun With Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl

March 31, 2011

A product launch that we’re watching: Orville Redenbacher’s New Microwave Popcorn Pop Up Bowl. By using innovative marketing strategies and creating a solution to a common snack-time problem, this product is a possible entry for this year’s Most Memorable New Product Launch.

Microwave popcorn lovers everywhere are familiar with the icky buttery hands that result from reaching into the bottom of a microwave popcorn bag. Orville Redenbacher has launched an innovative packaging solution to produce a clean and enjoyable popcorn eating experience: the Pop Up Bowl, now available at Walmart. “This is the biggest thing to happen to popcorn in 25 years,” says Jesse Spungin, general manager at Orville Redenbacher. The new packaging, available in Ultimate Butter, Smart Pop, Movie Theater Butter and Butter, makes sharing a popcorn bag easy without the hassle of rinsing out a bowl when you’re done. So what’s all the buzz about? The bag transforms into a bowl while in the microwave, so the only clean up required is tossing the empty bowl. In a society that relies on convenience and efficiency, a clean, fun and user-friendly package is the perfect improvement to everyone’s favorite snack.

The new packaging was launched towards the beginning of Orville Redenbacher’s Pop & Win Instant Win Game. Specially marked boxes of popcorn contain popcorn bags with heat activated game messages that announce whether or not the bag is a winner. Winning bags contain a code to be entered online to redeem prizes that range from HDTVs and Wii consoles to games and digital cameras to grand prizes like a $10,000 Game Room Bundle or a $10,000 Home Theater Makeover.

Before the Pop Up Bowl launch in February, bloggers and Blissdom 2011 social media conference attendees were sent samples of the product to generate internet buzz. A large portion of the reviewers are moms who shared the popcorn bowl with their families. The FoodYouLove Youtube channel features a video demonstrating the convenience of the Pop Up Bowl as opposed to traditional bags of popcorn. A SmartSource $1 off printable coupon is circulating online, and The Orville Redenbacher Facebook page is also marketing the new product, emphasizing the easy cleanup and share-ability of the packaging. 

So far, reviewers are raving about the Pop Up Bowl. It has already been featured on The View’s blog as one of this year’s hottest food trends. With a no mess, easy to use package and faster preparation time, it’s a wonder this hasn’t been thought of before. The Pop Up Bowl is sure to be a revolutionary product that pushes the snack food industry to reconsider packaging as vital to product differentiation. Environmentalists will approve of the waste saved from using napkins. Clean, convenient, easy to eat – what’s not to love?

Schneider Associates’ 2010 MMNPL Survey is Featured by Writer Dom Celentano in About.com’s Food & Beverage Section

January 7, 2011

The annual Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey (MMNPL), conducted by Schneider Associates (SA) with research partners Sentient Decision Science and the SymphonyIRI Group, was recently featured in the first of a series of features on about.com. Writer Domenick Celentano interviewed Julie Hall, EVP of Strategy at Schneider Associates, about the national consumer poll which uncovers the most memorable new product launches of the year as well as insights into purchasing behavior. Celentano’s piece focuses on consumer eating trends and the top food products in the 2010 survey, and explains how brands made their products memorable in 2010. “Social Media was a big factor in getting the buzz out,” one of the reasons why Pretzel M&Ms and McDonald’s Smoothies were so memorable. Check out all of the top ten most memorable new product launches here.

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.

In a world full of cords, Powermat offers space age freedom

April 13, 2010

Having more than one technology device means living in a world full of chargers and cords. Now, imagine a device that eliminates cord-dependency. That’s exactly what Powermat is – a wireless charging system that p0wers up three devices simultaneously, mess free. The Powermat sets itself apart with its slick design and adaptability to charge a diverse range of devices, like the iPhone, Blackberry and the Nintendo DS, to name a few. The launch story for this revolutionary product, which began in October, 2009, is clearly aimed at early adopters.

In the fall, Powermat launched an integrated marketing campaign incorporating television, radio, internet, out-of-home and social media around the slogan: “Lose the cords”.  Their television and radio commercial campaign named “What the bleep?” used humor to demonstrate the product benefits.  The spots portrayed astounded consumers who were unable to contain their amazement about the new product, by blurting out remarks that had to be “bleeped” by censors. On the internet, Powermat advertised heavily on technology Web sites such as Gizmodo, and even placed out-of-home ads on automatic doors in major airports to reach business travelers.  Lastly, Powermat used social media including Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.  Within these platforms, they showcased their ads and presented contests like “What the Bleep?” (where consumers submitted their ‘what the bleep’ moments for judging) and the Powermat slogan contest (where consumers submitted slogan ideas).

Since the launch in October, Powermat was named to TIME’s Top 20 Tech Buyers Guide 2009. Selling at $99.99, plus $40 per receiver, this product is an expensive commitment to convenience; but nevertheless sold more than 750,000 devices by the beginning of January 2010.  What will Powermat do next? How about furniture that charges? This innovative and unique furniture product should be on sale soon if Powermat meets its projections.  We’re interested to see the wide range of applications for this groundbreaking product – we’re also interested to see how long it takes to gain mass adoption. Could a cordless Star Trek world arrive at light speed?

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

Picture courtesy of http://www.powermat.com/us/mats/home-and-office-mat.html#

Sweet Sayings Drove Valentine’s Spending

February 26, 2010

Manufacturers focus on positioning products for the big back-to-school and holiday seasons, but those who are plugged in understand that Valentine’s Day ranks third in consumer spending. In 2010, the National Retail Foundation predicted a four percent decline in Valentine’s Day spending from 2009 to $14.1 billion (anecdotal reports from retailers show that Valentine’s Day spending did indeed decrease for the second straight year). But not all of that purchasing power was tied to gestures of romantic love. Christina Cheddar Berk, news editor for CNBC, reported that couples intended to spend less on each other, but more on friends, co-workers and pets this year.

“The economy… forced consumers to rethink their gift giving practices,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of Strategic Initiatives at BigResearch, the firm that conducted the survey for the NRF. Rist accurately predicted that “Personal and unique gifts will speak volumes this Valentine’s Day as consumers dig deep into their hearts and not their wallets.” What does this all mean? Marketers who saw success this Valentine’s Day were the ones who positioned their products in a relevant and meaningful way.

One great example comes from our client, New England Confectionery Company, which has churned out billions of tiny candy hearts for more than 163 Valentine’s Days. This year, they dazzled consumers with all new flavors and brand new sayings that were dreamed up by Americans and submitted in an online contest. The top two phrases demonstrated America’s obsession with social networking and technology – Tweet Me and Text Me. Rounding out the Top 10 were a mix of classics and refreshed favorites.

To give consumers more ways to engage with the brand, Sweethearts created a Twitter application that allowed users to send a virtual box of hearts with personalized messages via email or Twitter.

The public relations campaign for the product garnered a significant amount of media impressions during the week leading up to and including Valentine’s Day, with notable hits on The Early Show, The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning and NPR.

What type of launch campaign will you conduct to get your product on the lips of lovers next Valentine’s Day?

“The Dough Was like Cardboard” – Dominos uses Twitter to Jump Start a New Pizza and Ad Campaign

January 25, 2010

Using an innovative strategy of complete transparency, Dominos launched their new pizza recipe to demonstrate their honesty about the shortcomings of their core product and attempting to emerge victoriously. Facing criticism head-on, Domino’s pizza reinvented their traditional recipe in response to focus groups and negative Twitter comments.  Domino’s developed a new advertising campaign to kick off their improved pizza which included a microsite with a live Twitter feed, a video documentary and a Twitter hash tag, #newpizza. “The old days of trying to spin things simply doesn’t work anymore,” said president Patrick Doyle, who will become CEO in March, during an Associated Press interview. “Great brands going forward are going to have a level of honesty and transparency that hasn’t been seen before.”

Despite the fact that Dominos did not turn to consumers in their test kitchens, they are tempting pizza lovers to try the revamped pizza, offering 2-medium, 2-topping pizzas for $5.99 each. Twitter feedback over the new recipe is mixed ranging from positive and negative tweets to confused and curious tweets (one blogger, Rebecca Kelley called Dominoes out for censoring negative feedback on the Twitter feed, but it seems they have since changed tactics and allowed it). We wonder: will Dominos be able to keep up the social media hype surrounding its new recipe? How long will they keep up the transparency campaign? Will the new taste alienate core customers? And to top it off, will the million dollar pizza makeover be a marketing success?