According to Nielsen research over 80% of products fail after launch. The odds it would seem are stacked against any brand launching a new product. So what are food innovators getting wrong?
“People don’t always tell the truth; people don’t think how they feel and people don’t always do what they say.” A neuroscientist once said in relation to product testing.
This sets out the challenge to marketers whose job is to untangle this quagmire into a clear selling proposition for their product. Here are some key considerations for marketers to increase new produce success by enabling more effective market research via effective multi-sensory testing:
1. Make sure that sensory responses align: For a new product to gain acceptance you need to make sure that the various sensory responses you are testing for align. Sensory alignment creates what is called ‘congruence’ which encourages an increase in the ‘pleasantness’ effect in the brain. Visa versa ‘incongruence’ can cause ‘suppression’ meaning that certain individual elements of the product effect the overall perception of the product.
2. The best results can be achieved by playing on other senses. Sensory interaction is very close together within the brain. There is a complex pathway between the senses in the brain. This explains why packaging can have a strong effect on consumer perception. For example, drinks in plastic bottles are generally perceived as fizzier whilst drinks in glass bottles are perceived as sweeter.
3. Explicit and implicit decision making needs to be evaluated. This means that in order to get a holistic understanding of the consumer we need to combine an understanding of both the emotional and rational response. Part of this process means that the research needs to eliminate errors possibly caused by preconceptions and or social attitudes.
Getting the variables right in your market research process is vital to ensure that you are understanding the nuances of consumer preference. Getting these nuances right in your new product can make or break it.
Innovate Solutions help food & beverage companies & retailers in Ireland to grow their sales and profitability. Our range of sensory product testing and research services deliver an independent view of consumer taste and preference.