Failing to communicate product usage effectively creates barriers to growth for even quality products
So, you have spent months meticulously developing a sure winner of a product which perfectly fits its category and embodies your brand’s premiumness, but it doesn’t quite have the impact you hoped for in-market…
What went wrong? What were the barriers to growth that you missed? What are the opportunities available to transform it into a bestseller? Is it going to break budgets to fix?
At Catalyx, we’re experts at helping brands to unlock growth – whether that’s throughout the development process or when a product is already in-market but failing to shine as expected.
We bring the power of the consumer crowd directly into brands’ decision-making processes to make it quicker and easier to make cost effective but important decisions.
For example, a recent case study using award-winning tools from our Consumer Activation System focused on San Pellegrino’s excellent Essenza zero calorie sparkling water.
We found a product that was winning across much of the board – but we also uncovered three barriers that were preventing further growth.
- Unclear product positioning understanding. Consumers aren’t clear how and when to consume San Pellegrino Essenza, which affected purchase intent post-trial.
- Critical lack of shelf presence in store and from a lack of top-of-page presence across online stores, leaving consumers opting for more easily accessible alternative brands and products.
- Non-memorable advertising, limiting San Pellegrino’s campaign ability to drive conversion with consumers looking instead for a clearer product positioning, explicit USPs and (occasion) usage.
In essence, we found that San Pellegrino’s Essenza delivered against consumer needs but suffered from an unclear positioning, limiting findability offline and online, along with ineffective communication.
We want to shine a light on the positioning part of this puzzle as an opportunity to unlock more growth. Clearer positioning leads to more effective placement and communication.
If consumers are unsure whether a product is a stand-alone beverage, low calorie health drink or a mixer, then it is time to consider which horses to back and how.
It’s always worth remembering that consumers prefer to buy what they already know if there is any sense of confusion around a new product in-market. The natural instinct for most people is to look for more “standard” (non-premium) product/flavours; established lower-calories soft drink alternatives; or established mixers.
So, what can we do to leverage the fact that we have an excellent product that is perhaps struggling to find its place in a given market relative to its competition – or not flying off the shelves as we had hoped?
- Well, you could position it as a refreshing, low-calorie soft drink alternative, with multi-pack ambient in-store sites and singles in fridges – positioned next to diet options. That would emphasise it as a stand-alone drink that can be enjoyed regularly. Pick up a pack for a healthy at home treat or grab a can with your lunch for instant and zero calorie refreshment.
- Or, you could get creative with vodka and gin brands to create premium low-calorie cocktails that are sure to bring the sunshine and get the party started. This can help to instantly make a product more relatable by connecting it to an existing crowd who are always searching for new and interesting options.
- It’s possible to play in both markets, of course, but to avoid confusion among consumers it’s absolutely essential for a brand to articulate the product messaging around occasion-based usage. People are unlikely to switch to your product if the messaging is unclear and there are already well-established alternatives.
- Whichever positioning you choose, make sure that it’s possible for your target market to find the product. It sounds obvious, but if your soft drink is only found alongside the mixers then people looking for lunchtime refreshment are less likely to pick it up. And the same rings true if you’re hoping for the party crowd, but only stocked next to the sandwiches. Mixing up the formats (single can, multipack etc) in various locations around stores can emphasise a product’s flexibility and usage and make it a more obvious choice.
How are you positioning your product within category? Are you being clear with your message? Even if you think you are being clear, are consumers getting it and following through with a purchase? Is there any confusion from the consumer side that might erect barriers to purchase? Is your product showing up where and when you want it? Often the answers to these are only found when speaking directly to the people you are hoping will buy the product.
Catalyx’s mixed methodology approach crowdsources the qualitative and quantitative intelligence you need to confidently ensure you’re pulling the right levers in-market and targeting your chosen audience effectively.
What opportunities could your brand be uncovering by doing a product audit?
Our actionable insights bring to life where brands should focus resources on their Promotion, Promise, Packaging, Placement and Product in the short and long term, allowing for confident and effective decision making.
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