Tag Archives: product launch

Winning Product Launches


A new product launch is a significant investment for companies. Not only are the companies trying to penetrate the market with a new product, they are also trying to gain market share, build brand image, and perpetuate its reputation as an innovative company. But many new products fail in the first year after introduction, often leaving the company with a black-eye as well as red-ink.


What does it take to have a winning product launch? According to Nielsen’s analysis of 3,439 newly introduced consumer products, it determined that the top  winning products  demonstrated breakthrough results in innovation, relevance, endurance, and distinctiveness. In order to make the top list, the product had to achieve at least 90% of year-one sales in year two, demonstrating a solid consumer adoption of the new product.


The top products for 2013 are:


  • Chattem – Allegra® Allergy
  • Colgate Palmolive – Colgate® Optic White™
  • Dannon Oikos® Greek Yogurt
  • Del Monte – Milo’s Kitchen® Home-Style Dog Treats
  • General Mills – Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies
  • Hershey – Reese’s® Minis
  • Kelloggs – Special K Cracker Chips
  • Kraft – MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Velveeta Cheesy Skillets
  • Monster Beverage Company – Monster Rehab®
  • Nestle – Skinny Cow Candy
  • P&G – Downy UNSTOPABLES™ In Wash Scent Booster
  • TalkingRain – Sparkling Ice
  • Unilever – Magnum® Ice Cream


Each of these products and companies successfully met three key requirements:


  1. Relevance – products must be relevant to the consumer and generate first year sales of $50+ million.
  2. Endurance – products achieved at least 90% of first year sales in its second year to confirm a sustained level of demand from trial to adoption.
  3. Distinctiveness – products must deliver a new value proposition to the market.


Launching a product might be tougher than it looks – particularly when the launch results have to be sustained into the next years.


Group Activities and Discussion Questions:


  1. Discuss the elements that make a good product launch.
  2. Review some of the winning product campaigns identified by Nielsen.
  3. Access and read the full report from Nielsen: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/breakthrough-innovation-report.html
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a product launch campaign for a product of their choice.
  5. How will each team address the three key areas of relevance, endurance, and distinctiveness?


Source:  Nielsen Research, 7/2013


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Shifting Tastes in Foods and Markets



Innovate or die. That’s a phrase that all marketers are familiar with using, and it hits close to home for consumer product goods companies in particular. Case in point is Campbell Soup Co. The company plans to launch more than 200 new products in the next few months, ranging from Goldfish Mac & Cheese to a new cold variety of its classic V8 drink.

What prompted the new products? The changing trends of consumer taste, especially for more fresh foods. And before you wonder how V8 fits into a ‘fresh’ category, the product is being revamped to fit into a new category of “packaged fresh” foods. Instead of finding V8 in the center grocery aisle, the drink will be 100% fresh tomato/vegetable juice and will be stocked in the refrigerated section of grocery stores, a place Millennials tend to frequent. In the soup category, the new product is Campbell Homestyle soups which still have no added preservatives.

The new products are also intended to reach new market segments including Millennials, Hispanics, and other consumers who desire more sophisticated and bolder taste profiles. Also in the cross-hairs are the kid and teen markets, which will see new products such as Goldfish Puffs, a cheesy air-puffed baked form of Goldfish crackers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss why product innovation is important, and what factors help a new product become successful.
  2. Poll the class about their preferences in foods: taste, color, size, texture, flavors, etc.
  3. Ask students what new products they have tried in the past month. Why those products? What did they think about the product? Would they buy them again?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a category of food or beverage (e.g., soup, cookies, drinks, etc.)
  5. Have each team select a target market. Then have each team develop a new product (in their category) for the chosen target market.
  6. Debrief after each team presents their product.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily, 7/24/13

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Dollar Shave Club Adds New Product Line


By now, many male (and female) consumers are familiar with the popular viral video for Dollar Shave Club. The humorous video has more than 10 million hits and has helped the company build a subscriber base of roughly 200,000 men who receive a new shipment of razors each month from Dollar Shave Club.

But how does an online company known for a single product line add to its success? It starts by examining the needs and wants of the target market. And, in the case of Dollar Shave Club, it sticks with a category and market it knows – personal hygiene and men.

The company surveyed 1,000 men and found that 51% of respondents admit to using wet wipes regularly, and 16% use the wipes instead of using toilet paper. Men seldom talk about using the product and 24% actually hide them in the bathroom. The survey also found that 23% of the men discreetly buy the products – and buy online. With the new product line – wet toilet wipes – Dollar Shave Club’s stated goal is to “own the bathroom and be the easiest place for men to buy the things they use every day.”

It’s a sizeable market to enter – toilet paper sales are $8.4 billion annually, which is a much larger category than the $3.6 billion annual market for razors and blades. However, for all it’s size, within the toilet paper industry, wet wipes are a niche product adopted mainly by women and children.

Enter Dollar Shave Club’s product, One Wipe Charlies. For a $4 monthly subscription addition, a package of 40 wipes can now be delivered – discretely – each month.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Bring up Dollar Shave Club’s Web site: www.dollarshaveclub.com
  2. Show the original video.
  3. Next, show the new video for One Wipe Charlies: https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/one-wipe-charlies
  4. Discuss the video: key message, target market, effectiveness, etc.
  5. Discuss the marketing strategy that the company uses.
  6. Using the product/market grid, discuss which strategy the company is using with the wet wipes.
  7. Divide students into teams. Have each team brainstorm on additional products that could be sold to the company’s customers.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 6/7/13

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