The step-by-step plan to improve the performance of your recently introduced innovation.
20 februari 2024 
in News

The step-by-step plan to improve the performance of your recently introduced innovation.

As an FMCG professional, introducing your innovation is always a great (and sometimes stressful) moment. This is the moment when your innovation has to prove itself. You naturally hope your innovation will be a huge success, but unfortunately 80% of all FMCG innovations fail within the first year. But what can you do if the performance of your introduction is disappointing? You can read about that in the step-by-step plan below.

Step 1: Conduct research into the possible cause of the disappointing rotation figures

To increase rotation, you first need to understand the problem. However, there can be several reasons why an innovation performs disappointingly. Sometimes the number of claims on the packaging is the problem, while other times the flavour of the product may be the bottleneck. The first step to understanding the problem is to look critically at your concept with colleagues and make a list of possible barriers for consumers to buy the product. Creating such a list can already provide inspiration to make the right adjustments

However, compiling such a list can be difficult. That is why we have analysed more than 120 of our in-store surveys to identify the most common causes of disappointing launches. This article can be a good starting point to identify the cause of disappointing rotation rates.

Step 2: Get to know what consumers actually think of your concept

Understanding what associations consumers have with your concept is crucial. However, this can be challenging because what consumers say does not always match their actual behaviour. This is not because consumers like to lie, but because context is very important for understanding consumer behaviour. Therefore, at Bamboo Brands, we always conduct research on the shop floor; the place where consumers are.

To get the most valuable insights, it is best to interview consumers at the shelf where your innovation is placed. After all, this is where consumers make their purchase decision. By interviewing consumers at this spot, you minimise the influence of bias that is often common in online research methods. Here are some example questions that can lead to valuable insights:

When you look at the shelf, what do you notice first?

Do you always buy the same product from this shelf (habitual buying)?

Did you notice product X? 

What would you use product X for?

Do you know brand X? If so, what is your association with the brand?

Step 3: Optimise your concept based on consumer feedback

Thanks to the valuable insights from the above in-store interviews, you can now start optimising your concept. Often, even the most subtle adjustments will result in a significant increase in rotation figures. For example, did you know that the rotation of an innovation can sometimes be increased by up to 50% simply by placing it on a different shelf? Most importantly, you should base any adjustments you make on the insights you have gained from your target audience. If you make the right adjustments, you will find that your innovation will perform better. Are you not doing this? Then you run the risk that the rotation rates will remain the same.

Step 4: Test your improved concept in a number of supermarkets

You have identified the cause of the disappointing rotation figures and you have improved your concept based on the insights you gained from your target audience. Now it's time to test your improved concept. You can do this in a low-threshold way by placing the improved concept in a number of supermarkets. Often, a test in 10 supermarkets over a 6-week period is enough to draw conclusions. With our network of more than 400 supermarkets, we can help manufacturers conduct such in-store research. After these 6 weeks, you will know exactly what effect the adjustments made have had on the rotation. Good news: in almost all cases, the improvements will lead to higher rotation figures, provided step 3 is complied with, of course.

Ready to improve the performance of your innovation?

After a disappointing launch, not only is the disappointment great, there is often no time to lose. Gaining quick insight into the disappointing rotation figures and knowing which buttons to turn to improve performance is therefore no luxury. Fortunately, in-store research provides all the tools you need.

Do you currently have an innovation that is underperforming and want to know how to improve performance in a timely manner? Then consider a Post Launch Evaluator or check out Unilever's case study.

About the author
Founder & Managing Director Bamboo Brands B.V.
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