From inspiration to the shopping cart: qualitative at the heart of NPD

Anjali Puri
Client Services, ACNielsen ORG-MARG, India

Shashikala Raj
United Spirits Limited, India


Successful NPD is one of the foremost challenges that the marketing fraternity grapples with today. Always an uncertain territory, it has become even more of a battle in the present context, with a fatigued consumer overloaded with sameness. An attempt to get the consumer's attention in this crowded space has increasingly led to NPD efforts that have an exaggerated focus on the 'radical' and 'cutting edge'.

'Innovation' and 'out-of-the-box-thinking' are buzzwords in any client organization, and qualitative researchers pride themselves on their repertoire of creative (or creativity-igniting) techniques that tap into the rightmost extremes of consumer brains ... or the innermost recesses of their hearts. And these efforts have, in fact, often yielded some exciting and novel possibilities at the idea stage. Truly successful new product launches, however, remain dishearteningly rare.