June 22, 2006
- by Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II(The Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
How often do we fail to follow the advice we give our children? How many times have you told your children that if they do not do their homework they will surely fail? We, in Products Research and Marketing, have our own homework. There are things we should do and things we must do in preparation for the introduction of a new idea into the market. Some people do a great job while others do a half-vast job and it is reflected in the market results. (No wonder 9 out of 10 new introductions fail within the first 12 months.)
Following are just a few of our homework assignments.
Idea Evaluation - Assessing the value of the idea - This not only includes the assessment of the appeal of the idea but also the market analysis. We need to determine the frequency of the need, the competition, and habits & practices relating to the current solution to the need.
Product Positioning - This involves Concept Development & Evaluation. It seems that most companies conduct evaluation but do very little development.
Product Development - This area involves developing a product that delivers on the promise and comparing it to the competition. Is the performance seen and appreciated by the consumer? Determine if it is worth occupying shelf space in the market.
Brand Development - This area is all about the positioning of the brand. From a business standpoint, define your brand equity, strategy, and business model and identify how they differ from the competition. From a product standpoint, develop the appropriate aesthetics, packaging, and copy. Do everything to reinforce the brand's positioning.
Advertising - Determining the message, delivery system and promotion.
Distribution - What are the needs for shipping, storage, special equipment, etc., and are they available?
Market Readiness Evaluation - The final step before a major expense is incurred is to determine the potential of a reasonable return on the investment.
Market Introduction Evaluation - Our report card on how well we did our job.
If you believe in your brand, then it is to your advantage to get it into as many consumers' hands as possible and let the brand do the balance of selling.
In the world of marketing, little things, tie breakers, can have a profound effect on sales. I have seen things such as a simple phrase in the copy or a change in the package, stimulate the initial purchase. I have also seen aesthetics have a major impact on the performance perception of a brand. In the Soap Division we had a saying that if you wanted a better cleaning impression, just add a few speckles to the product. It is all about defining and reinforcing the brand's positioning.
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