Progressive Grocer Product

Spring 2015

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cover feature 1 0 Progressive Grocer Products Showcase / Spring 2015 traditional CPG companies have brought," Burt says. "And it's easier to line up the objectives and priorities, because you have far fewer potential conficts than you do with a nationally branded manufacturer." Strategy Session The best way to get consumers to buy your product is to get consumers to try your product. In-store sampling has long been a staple of product launches, and a 2009 study conducted by Knowledge Networks-PDI showed that in-store sampling dramatically increased try and buy the day of a product sample, no matter whether it was a new product or line extension, and the happy swell of sales remained for more than a week after the event. "Over time, in-store sampling has developed to be one of the most efective mechanisms used to engage shoppers and consumers," says Jef Engel, senior vice president of retail for Interactions Marketing, San Diego, Calif. "People rarely make shopping lists, and in cases where they do, their lists are incomplete. While fiers and social media support product launches, most purchase decisions are made in store." That includes, he continues, the bulk of impulse purchases. The problem, however, is that with so many products crowding store shelves, the products manufacturers want to spotlight can get lost in the mix. "In-store sampling is the best way to call attention to the introduction of a new product," Engel says. "There's no risk in doing demos—the risk is in doing poor demos." A poorly executed program can be detrimental to a launch, he notes, if communications to the shopper aren't clear and efective. "Retailers not only need to ensure that they are executing sampling events to engage shoppers," Engel adds, "but also ensure their demonstrators have the right skill set and information to communicate to the consumers." While in-store sampling can boost a launch, according to those polled in the 2014 Progressive Grocer survey, it falls in fourth place of strategies that have the biggest impact on new product launches. On a scale of one to fve, supplier respondents rated in-store sampling an average of 2.7 for impact on launches, behind exclusivity with a particular retailer (3.6), traditional print and television campaigns (3.4), and social media campaigns (3.2). Social media may currently hold the bronze medal as related to this survey's fndings, but to see it rise in the ranks would not be surprising. Survey results show that 33 percent of retailers and 42 percent of suppliers say that social media has an efect on their launch processes. "Social media is part of driving awareness and acceptance in the marketplace, but the customer does not always recognize unmet needs," one supplier noted. "It depends on the demographic," said one retailer. "[Social media] is more efective with younger consumers, but not that efective for older consumers or perhaps urban dwellers." Yet other retailers noted that while social media is important for millennials, traditional launch strategies are still the most efective. A point in its favor, on a cost per basis, social media is "free" while in-store sampling, for example, includes the output of cost of product at potentially upwards of thousands of stores, or, as with traditional print and television ads, the cost of marketing in multiple markets. No matter how lengthy the development process, having clear communication and expectations for the team and the product itself are non-negotiable to make a launch successful. Source: Progressive Grocer Market Research, Stagnito Business Information How long iS a tyPiCal new ProduCt develoPMent ProCeSS?

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