Innovation as a strategy to delight consumers and differentiate in the market
July 15, 2016
Nowadays, consumers are already expecting news when reaching the point of sale. The rise of small brands added to newly demands of health-conscious consumers are turning the market increasingly dynamic and innovation has become a must. However, there are some specific aspects of the food and health market that are crucial throughout the innovation process:
1. Ingredient’s approval
Can you tell what consumers know about your products’ ingredients? Are your ingredients approved by the medical and scientific community? For brands and products with “health appeal”, these are some of the basic and strategic questions that should be answered before starting an innovation project. Analyzing the ingredient’ awareness level through market research, workshops and focus groups is also a first step that can lead to both the positioning and the target of this new product or category. Care for some practical cases?
A survey carried out in 2015 by QualiBest showed that consumers can clearly identify the positive and negative ingredients in a product. Taking oats as a case, 90% of consumers pointed it as a hero and 88% referred to grains. Likewise, a survey conducted in 2015 by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), showed that 68% of the survey respondents associated Omega-3 to a healthy oil or extremely healthy, unveiling that although the exact benefit not always came to light, the health message is already rooted in the ingredient itself.
But, what to do with other functional ingredients that are not universally known? Aim at both consumer and shopper education through responsible communication that delivers credibility and scientific support.
2- Benefit Understanding
Did you know that having an incredible product without its clear benefit can be a bad deal? Throughout the innovation process it is vital to make sure consumers understand and, if possible and applicable, feel the benefit. The brand Activia undertakes this by calling up on consumers to experience the benefits of the product, with a money-back guarantee if not satisfied with the results.
The use of health claims is undoubtedly a useful tool to suggest a benefit, but may not always be enough. This is precisely why some brands are focusing on other benefits such as emotional benefits, for instance. Stating the baby will have a dry night sleep while employing " Love, dreams and play " on its marketing campaign, Pampers brand reaches emotional aspects on mothers when delivering its message.
Generating awareness on the main issue the product unravels is also an excellent strategy to communicate the benefit. But regardless the path and strategy chosen, always remember to make sure your customer understands what, why and how your product delivers certain benefits.
Even if it’s not possible to include innovation projects in your agenda right now, take a minute to look at your current options: analyze your portfolio, identify opportunities and boost improvement projects. It can be an excellent way to delight your customers and leverage competitors. Have you ever thought about it?