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Grading New Products

By: Greg Seminara,Export Solutions
Topics: New Products Innovation

The consumer judges our brands every day with their purchase decisions. Companies are justifiably proud of the brands they sell. Supermarket buyers are confronted with thousands of options for stocking their shelves. What are the key attributes for a product to excel in to gain buyer attention and acceptance ? Grade your product portfolio and how your products compare to your category.

Taste/Functionality: Simple. How does your brand taste compared to other similar products in a “blind test” ? How well does a household product or healthcare brand work at solving a problem ? Does your beauty care product enhance the consumers appearance or image? Brand owners must conduct independent trials to measure consumer preferences.

Innovation: What news does your product bring to a category ? There is little interest in “me- too” today. Innovation must be created based upon tangible consumer needs and trends. Your innovation must be viewed as an important advance to your category.

Value: The recession has heightened the demand for an improved “value” equation in all products. Value does not translate to simply the lowest price. Value represents the satisfaction level relative to the price paid. In the  2000’s, manufacturer’s built profit margins with a consistent stream of premium products, finding unique differences to trade shoppers “up”. The winners today are those brands that can deliver new benefits for the same price as current brands.

Package: Everyone smiles at a pretty girl ! How does your package look in terms of modern graphics, text, and size relative to the category? In Beauty Care, the category rewards unique packaging. Manufacturers must resist the temptation to provide too many marketing messages on a small package.

Sensory: Is your product visually appealing ? What does the product smell like ? How does the food product feel in your mouth or a beauty product on your skin ? These factors all play a role in the “seduction” of the buyer.

Health/Sustainability: There is an unprecedented level of scrutiny on our industry regarding the healthiness of our products. Transparency of information via the web will find consumers more engaged in evaluating the ingredients of our products, the process under which they were manufactured, and their impact on the environment. Leading retailers around the world view Food Safety and Sustainability as two of the industries highest priorities.

Click here to read How to Excite Buyers with your New Product