BOSTON -- More than 30,000 new products were introduced to the marketplace in 2000, a 21% increase from the previous year. The Schneider/Boston University New Product Launch Report reveals substantial differences between the policies and implementations of successful product launches and those of their less successful counterparts.
Food and beverage companies represented 61% of survey respondents.
According to Joan Schneider, president of Schneider & Associates here, it is important for retailers to comprehend the multiple facets behind a company's new product launch, from Internet strategy to guerrilla marketing techniques.
"They must pose the question: How are you going to interest the consumer in buying yet another new product?" she said.
The study found the "pull" strategy to be the most effective means of promotion. Highly successful launches spent 78% of their marketing dollars on consumer-related activities, as opposed to campaigns focusing on trade activities.
According to Schneider, opportunities for retailers abound during the process leading up to the launch, such as in-store promotions, contests and cause-related marketing with a local theme.
In addition, the study found that entirely new products with a technological breakthrough were four times as likely to succeed.
Of the highly successful products studied, 63% were entirely new to the company, 26% were category extensions, 8% were re-introductions and 4% were line extensions.
Also, the study presents on-shelf presence as a key factor, unveiling a wide range of introductory stockkeeping units, from one to more than 50. The division between highly successful launches and less successful launches showed that more SKUs are more effective.
Of highly successful products, 34% rolled out with more than 10 SKUs, compared to just 15% of the less successful launches. Of the latter segment, 61% had only one to four SKUs.
According to Schneider, the fierce competition among new products on the shelves makes it difficult for the consumer to focus on a single new item.
"The launch is a process, not just a target date. The product companies and the supermarkets need an opportunity to look at all the facets individually in order to properly support the product."