Articles Posted in CPG


Disruptive Innovation: Play Blackjack, Not the Lottery

A few months have passed since I wrote the following about my experiences at the Edison Awards, in a blog post uncreatively titled The Innovator’s Dilemma:  “There was a great preponderance of what I call “brilliant individual syndrome,” wherein people stood up, said how smart they were, how they had vision to make things happen…and ignored the…

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Great Ideas = Great New Products, Right? Wrong!

Successful innovation is more than just coming up with great new product ideas.  And innovation strategy is more than a series of ideation sessions.  Great new products don’t just come from great new ideas.  Rather, they often come from learnings gained from bad ideas, and they come from extensive refinement and development of promising ideas…

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Listen Up: Beats Audio Accelerates Innovation to Become a Billion-Dollar Business

Did you hear that?  Did you hear the voice of the consumer singing a sweet song about their needs, dreams and desires?  Rapper/producer Dr. Dre and record mogul Jimmy Iovine heard it, and they crafted it into their latest hit:  beats audio. There’s been a lot of chatter about beats audio in the news recently,…

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The Innovator’s Dilemma

With a nod to the Clayton Christensen book of the same name, I wanted to revisit the concept of the innovator’s dilemma from the perspective of marketing research.  I do this on the heels of attending the recent Edison Awards (a combination awards ceremony / meet the innovators forum and showcase). During the two-day session, I heard speakers and…

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Is Your Research Letting Store Brands Win?

Once upon a time, store brands were considered cheap, generic, inferior – what you would buy when you are on a budget or seeking a bargain. These days, that fairy tale is over. Store brands and private labels have become increasingly sophisticated in their marketing, packaging and branding, in some cases, becoming indistinguishable from national…

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Hillshire Finds Misplaced Shopper

In a nutshell, this article in my estimation describes the key problem that many manufacturers and retailers have encountered: They’ve forgotten the shopper. How could that happen? Isn’t that why they are in business?

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This Is Very Important

It isn’t often that you see a sign like this: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. There’s a message that will stop you in your tracks and prompt you to read more. Many of us at Ipsos did, especially when we realized, with delight, that our colleague’s article was named as The Most Important Presentation at Esomar Congress.

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The Groupon Phenomenon

Within CPG, the impact of so-called “daily deals” today really rests on their ability to impact traditional marketing drivers such as awareness, distribution, trial and repeat.   At a minimum a service like Groupon can be used to launch new products, induce trial, and create another distribution channel.  Beyond that, if these services can truly be made to be social (though such examples are few at this point), the value increases exponentially. So experiment now.  But do start with an end objective in mind, like you would with any marketing initiative.

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Writing Concepts As If Guided by Voices

If a successful company like P&G – with a claimed 50% success rate for new products, versus an industry average of 15-20% – spends eight years developing Tide Pods, don’t our good ideas deserve just a bit more nurturing than we are giving them?  A good idea, poorly executed, will fail – same as a poor idea, well executed.  A successful concept requires both a good idea and proper execution.  Success of this nature can absolutely happen on a deadline, but it’s less likely to happen if you procrastinate right up until the deadline.

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Database Follies

As with the review website Metacritic, the static database problem runs rampant in Market Research, if you look for it – inherent in any rating where we ask people for a monadic evaluation without understanding current behavior and competitive context. Whether in CPG or other areas of life, the question isn’t whether you like something – it’s whether it would replace what you are currently doing. Next time you go to conduct a Market Research study, ask yourself these two questions.  (1)  Did I start by understanding current consumer behavior?  (2)  Did I force consumers to make a choice within a competitive context, by comparing to their current behavior?  If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” you might end up with the Metacritic problem.  Unless it turns out you truly do live in Lake Wobegon, and all your ideas are above average.

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