According to Vicki Gardner, senior vice president of product innovation at Nielsen, consumer packaged goods companies spend an average of US$15 million per product per year guiding some 30,000 concepts to the shelf, knowing full well they are likely to fail. These new products have a meager 10% probability of achieving new product success. So what makes a new petfood or treat not only novel and innovative, but a 'must-have' for a pet parent?
Gardner, in her presentation "Beating the Odds: The Critical Steps to Innovation Success" at Petfood Workshop 2012, outlined what Nielsen learned about what influences launch success after studying new product launches and initiatives for five years:
The five critical success factors are salience, communication, attraction, point of purchase and endurance.
Good enough is good enough. Meeting the nominal performance threshold on each success factor will increase the likelihood of market success.
Outstanding performance on just a few relevant factors does not lead to success.
Any new product is only as strong as its weakest link.
Informed, mid-course corrections make it possible to resuscitate a failing initiative, getting it back on the track to success.
As part of the exploratory process, Nielsen researchers conducted a series of interviews with marketers to better understand how they filter and evaluate new products internally. The team found all existing models of consumer adoption unsatisfactory, and derived its own consumer adoption model through empirical research. Some of the important new product assessment questions included:
Did it break through the clutter?