Nielsen 'cracks the code' for product launch success

9 September 2014

There are four key elements to any successful product launch.

This is according to Nielsen, which has looked at 12,000 product launches across Europe in the FMCG sector to see if there were discernible patterns. The study found that two-thirds fail to achieve 10,000 unit sales, while three-quarters do not retain a retailer listing after the first year.

Only seven of the products analysed passed its testing criteria - with Foster's Gold, Magnum Infinity and Lucozade Energy Pink Lemonade among those deemed to have been successful.

Johan Sjostrand, managing director of Nielsen's innovation practice in Europe, said success is never a "remarkable coincidence" or "the product of luck".

"[However], nothing in our analysis suggests innovation success is out of the reach of any marketer - regardless of whether the brand is large or small, local or multinational, or even if the category is in decline," he added.

The report states that marketers can achieve an 85 per cent success rate by adopting the following key measures.

Make sure you choose the right innovation. The easiest way to do this is to put yourself in your customers' shoes and find out the answer to key question such as 'What causes them stress, confusion, inconvenience or compromise?'

Brands need to create a suitable organisational structure so the innovation is successful. Any innovation needs to have relevance, differentiation and superiority when it is market-ready. The team also has to be able to filter out weak ideas.

The activation strategy has to be spot on, which means creative marketing should be at the heart of the product. Don't forget you are trying to tell a story and demonstrate what makes the product truly innovative.

Everyone at the company needs to be pulling in the same direction if breakthrough success is going to be achieved. Organisational togetherness, from top to bottom, was found to be a prerequisite at all successful product launches.

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