Driving Your Product to Success
By Dave Lundahl and Mark Crowell
One of the biggest challenges in product innovation is to take that final step forward, to launch a product into the marketplace with confidence that it will be a success. Sandwiched between commercial plant trials and a full launch, this final sprint in the CRAEVS Solution is designed to give confidence to innovators and product developers that their hard work will pay off and give marketers the insights they need to know how to support the launched product to achieve success. In this way, the Watch It Sell Sprint is part validation and part marketing research.
This sprint is executed in a single, two-part piece of research.
The first is an instore test designed to understand how to drive trial, the second a home use test to understand how to drive repeat. In the instore test small batch runs of product are placed into real retail stores. Target shoppers who frequent these retail stores are pre-recruited to participant in the research study. These participants are asked to shop a category as they normally would. They are engaged at the point of sale to survey what they decided to purchase and why. If they do not purchase the test product, they are given more information about the new product to nudge them to purchase.
Home Use Test
Participants that purchase the test product take the product home and are reengaged in a home use test (HUT). This Buy-HUT provides on the front end a survey before trying the test product and again afterward. The before test product home use survey is designed to create a category baseline of choice scores of all category SKUs. After trial, the emotional impact and lift in category choice scores against baseline are used to assess the motivations to repeat trial and how future purchases might be impacted with the test product available as part of a choice set for consideration by shoppers.
These behavioral scores can serve as great business KPIs through this two-part research sprint. Behavioral metrics in home provide a great tool for validation, especially when the behavioral scores indicate positive emotional impact and propensity to take choice share away from other category SKUs. Behavioral metrics instore can include opportunities to learn through A/B trials involving placing product into stores at different price points, promotional tactics, and even packaging variants. Instore testing can involve on store or multiple stores to test placements into different types of retail stores with different types of shoppers and competitive sets.
This final sprint provides the information needed to help product developers and marketers know how to drive a product to success. It provides confidence that the series of sprints through the CREAEVS process will result in a successful launch by offering valuable information before going to expensive production runs and the costs to fully commercialize and launch product into retail stores.