NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: Taking the honours for 2001's launches - Marketing has played a key role in the success of this year's top ten FMCG launches

What makes for successful new product development? Why do some new

products thrive, while others fail? These are questions many marketers

have to grapple with when considering whether, how or when to introduce

an offering to the marketplace.



Marketing asked ACNielsen to identify some of the leading FMCG launches

of the past 18 months (see table). But why have these launches worked

while others have failed?



"The products that succeed grow out of people's attitudes and behaviour,

rather than being led by the development technology," says Chris Gowar,

Design Bridge's head of brand strategy and innovation.



Gowar says this year has been short on genuine innovation, with

manufacturers looking to milk existing brands to make brand

extensions.



In terms of launch strategies, there are two main ways to go. A major

player such as Procter & Gamble supports its launches with big adspends

dedicated to getting them adopted across wide sectors of the

population.



Alternatively, there is the 'trickledown' method, a lower-risk approach

often on a test-market scale. By 'seeding' the product into

early-adopter markets, Red Bull was able to persuade consumers to do

much of the marketing for it.



Marketers need to think very carefully about which approach best fits

their objectives, their products and their consumer strategies - and

which best fits their distribution system.



FutureBrand head of European strategy David Hensley argues that a deep

understanding of the supply chain is a pre-requisite for success. It

should be difficult to replicate; there must be enough stock with the

retailer to meet demand, but not so much that the public gets the

picture of an overstocked, unsuccessful launch.



IAMS



Procter & Gamble launched Iams dog food and expanded the availability of

Iams cat food to the grocery channel in the UK in April 2001. After six

months the brand has a 25% share of dry cat food and a 12% share of dry

dog food and is growing share every period (source IRI).



Since launch, more than 2.5 million UK cats and dogs have tried Iams

(TNS Panel). In the US the Iams launch has taken Procter & Gamble from

sixth to second place as a manufacturer of pet food in just 18 months

(IRI).



Why has it captured the imagination of the marketplace? "We have

accelerated the current market transition from wet food - primarily

marketed on taste and aesthetics - to dry food, which is designed and

marketed more on nutritional and health benefits for the animal," says

Iams brand manager Justine Davey. "Our launch has been timely - dry food

is growing at the expense of wet and people are starting to apply

healthy diet thinking to their pets."



Davey claims that over 60% of pet owners who have given Iams to their

pets have noticed benefits to their health and vitality within three

weeks.



The brand achieved 70% awareness within three months, through a

multimedia campaign and "phenomenal in-store presence".



TEN SUCCESS STORIES OF 2001

Brand Manufacturer MAT* to Avg four-

Oct 6 2001 wkly sales

£000s £000s

Iams Procter & Gamble 15,804 2258

Fruit Shoot Britvic 21,253 1635

Campino Bendicks 10,345 796

Danone Activ Danone Waters 8676 667

Juice Up Britvic 7960 612

T & T T&T Beverages 6458 497

Swiffer Procter & Gamble 6055 466

Bounty Calapuno Mars 3882 431

Carapelli Olive Spread St Ivel 4131 318

Persil Revive Lever Faberge 2841 219

Source: ACNielsen

*Moving annual total



FRUIT SHOOT



Britvic Soft Drinks' Fruit Shoot is a refreshing fruit drink specially

designed for kids, or for when adults are out and about or doing

sport.



Since its launch, Fruit Shoot has been one of the top-performing kids'

fruit drinks among its target audience - active, sports-loving five- to

11-year-olds.



"Fruit Shoot has built on its success with TV ads during school

holidays, sampling at Robinsons Land in Drayton Manor Theme Park, and by

investing more than £320,000 in the sponsorship of kids' channel,

Cartoon Network," says brand controller Lizzie Pawsey.



The product retails in striking packaging with a 'pioneering sports cap'

and is available in Orange & Peach and Apple & Blackcurrant flavours, in

either 200ml or 300ml sizes. There are regular and 'no added sugar'

variants.



DANONE ACTIV



Danone Activ, a bottled still water with calcium from Danone Waters UK,

was launched in January 2001. It brought a unique product proposition

into the UK market. Drinking one litre of Danone Activ provides

consumers with 37% of the RDA of calcium.



It is positioned as a new, easy and convenient way to top up calcium

levels while enjoying the taste of bottled water. Danone's aim was to

encourage more people to consume more water more often and open up the

UK market to hitherto non-users with a simple and motivating reason to

buy.



A high-impact launch strategy created immediate brand awareness. Danone

Activ's national TV 'Skeletons Family' ad campaign hit screens 12 days

after the product went on shelf. PR activity, national sampling and an

education and healthcare programme reached 16 million consumers within

three months of launch.



Strong support from the trade meant that within the first four weeks of

launch the brand had attained 90% distribution across all of the major

multiples and 8.3 million litres of Danone Activ were sold in January

alone.



CAMPINO



Bendicks launched Campino in May 2000 into the £1bn sugar

confectionery market, in two flavours - Strawberries & Cream and Oranges

& Cream. The first to market with such a product, Bendicks has seen

Campino rise to success through its innovation and commitment to drive

consumer awareness.



Bendicks has supported Campino with a £4m TV advertising campaign

and heavyweight in-store promotional activity.



Campino created a unique 'luxury taste' segment within the fruit

confectionery market, capturing twice the value share of its nearest

competitor and fuelling growth of the sugar confectionery market.



Now already worth £10.3m (ACNielsen), Campino is set to further

grow the category by continued heavy-weight support and ongoing

innovation, claims Bendicks. Campino sweets are individually wrapped and

are available in both rollpack and bag formats.



JUICE UP



Juice Up, launched by Britvic Soft Drinks in June 2000 is a chilled

kids' juice drink that is fortified with calcium and vitamins. It

contains a minimum of 17% fruit juice, six essential vitamins and added

calcium.



It is available in three flavours - Smooth Orange, Cool Berry and

Sunshine Tropical. The product comes in 'easy-pour sculptured

finger-grip packs' that fit in the fridge door.



"Juice Up was launched as part of our Right Choice Category Management

Programme and designed to build this category," says brand controller

Adrian Troy. "We believe Juice Up reassures mums with its fundamental

health benefits and enables them to make an informed choice for their

kids. In addition, kids love it. Juice Up therefore has all-round

appeal.



"One 200ml serving of Juice Up contains up to 17% of a child's

recommended daily allowance of calcium - more than in half a glass of

milk."



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