The Unquenchable Need for NEW
“When are you coming up with something new?”
“Do you have anything new?”
And the list goes on and on.
Retailers rely on new products and new brand activity to keep consumers coming to their shelves. Consumers are always on the hunt for the next best thing. The pressure on brands to constantly deliver something new is intense and brands feel the pressure. However, brands have choices and can dial in and control the amount of newness that makes sense for their budget, resources, and sanity. Remember, building a new product should be energizing and fun.
At Buzz, we guide brands through the product development process that is right for them. As part of that process, we identify early on the brand’s need and appetite for adding new products to their marketing calendars with a keen eye on their budget and resources. We believe a new product should be a sail and not an anchor to the organization.
There are three ways a brand can look at bringing new product to the market and not every launch has to be never-seen-before, mind-blowing innovation. Let’s step through the options brands have for creating new products.
Minor change to an existing product or process such as a new fragrance, color, or even a new size/package. It’s one step away from something that already exists and doesn’t require the same innovative thinking to execute because there is a template or blueprint as a go-by.
· Fastest development to come to market
· Low risk as it is similar to something else in the portfolio and you know how that performs
· The process for restaging product can also be easily replicated
· Allows brands to react to trends
· Potential product cannibalization. Rather than gaining new customers or selling more products, consumers may simply switch to the new item. This is something worth anticipating by putting initiatives into place to mitigate this from happening.
· Doesn’t create a huge windfall of revenue
· If done too much can feel boring
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT (NPD)
Don’t confuse new with never been done (a.k.a innovation). This is one or even two steps beyond a Restage without being actual innovation. The “degree of newness” may vary but it is often existing ingredients, or a product form reimagined. There may be similar products on the market, but it is a new product for the brand. An example would be body cream with firming ingredients in a signature brand scent. While the basic product (body cream) exists in the market, the addition of a special ingredient and brand scent makes it a new product.
· Second fastest development timeline.
· Consumers will view it as something new and it may deliver a new range of benefits to keep the brand relevant.
· Puts the brand into new categories or white space to acquire new customers.
· Requires advanced operations and marketing planning to launch.
· Brand may have to make decisions and trade-offs to reach the final formula.
· Consumers may not see the value in the new product.
· Investment required.
Something that has never been seen or done before or something that has gone through significant and meaningful improvement. If a brand’s innovation fills an unmet consumer need, it can be a game-changer but let’s face it, innovation is rare and difficult.
· Can put your brand in the spotlight and garner attention.
· Meaningful boost to revenue
· Brand may be viewed as an industry leader.
· Requires significant advanced operations and marketing planning to launch.
· Consumers may reject the product.
· Since the product is totally new, the brand has to build the market from the ground up.
· Can be expensive and time-consuming, meaningful investment is likely required.
Having a cadence of product restaging, new product development and true innovation gives a brand short-term and long-term plans for driving its growth and meeting the needs of the retailers and consumers. What’s your new product calendar? If you are looking for guidance and additional resources, we are here to help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.