THE KEY TO
MUST WANT TO
BUY IT AGAIN
To gain a deeper understanding of
what today’s shoppers are looking
for and how retailers can capitalize
on the Best New Products and Most
Trusted Brands, GHQ spoke with
BrandSpark International President/
CEO Robert Levy.
Grocery Headquarters: What’s the
significance of your program? What
motivated BrandSpark to launch the
Best New Products awards and what
does it mean for the winners?
Robert Levy: Through our experience
assisting brands with new products development, we were aware of how difficult it is even
for great new products to stand out in store:
even a year after a national launch only one in
three category shoppers are aware of the average new product.
Meanwhile, consumers would tell us that
it’s hard to keep up with all the new products
on store shelves, even as eight in 10 agree that
they like trying them. With these issues in
mind, we conceived of the Best New Product
Awards as a way to help marketers ensure
their brand’s best new products standout, and
to guide consumers toward innovations that
are truly worth spending their money on.
BrandSpark launched the Best New Product
Awards 15 years ago in Canada and 10 years
ago in the United States.
GHQ: Given the high rate of product
failures, what in your opinion has the
makings of built-to-last new product.
Levy: An innovation must provide a
meaningful and noticeable incremental ben-
efit compared to other options available to the
consumer; must be communicated such that
the consumer benefit is properly understood;
and be delivered at a fair price. A successful
new product needs to truly deliver the unique
experience that it promises and be perceived
as great value. Consumers must want to buy
the product again. That is why the Best New
Product Awards focuses on the products that
real purchasers are most likely to plan to buy
again with their own money.
More specifically, we can look to our
Critical Shopper Factors wheel (see Page
46), which was informed by the success-
ful innovations we’ve tracked in the Best
New Product Awards: the foundation of any
product purchase is value perception and
brand trust, against which the specific ben-
efits are weighed: superior performance,
enjoyment factors like taste, health benefits
and convenience are the primary categories
for product innovation that resonates with
GHQ: Beyond the obvious trends
such as better-for-you, what do you
anticipate will be important factors for
the next generation of new products?
Levy: American shoppers appreciate eco-friendly and sustainable products, though
most do not want to pay more. These benefits
create positive brand associations and prepare
brands for the continuing shift to healthier
ingredients. In household care, consumers are
increasingly looking to avoid harsh ingredients and continue to prioritize convenient formats and extreme efficacy. In personal care
and beauty, consumers want products to be
effective but gentle on skin. Natural products
and new ‘natural’ ingredients are resonating
for beauty products.