Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Product launches underperform

News, 06 February 2015

LONDON: Brands are failing to tap into a public appetite for novelty as a new survey shows that few consumers can recall anything about product launches beyond the latest phone, video game or movie.

The Five By Five agency, which specialises in product launches, surveyed more than 2,000 UK consumers to better understand their attitudes to this aspect of marketing. It found that 74% of respondents claimed to be excited by new product launches but only 28% were able to remember a particularly impressive one.

"There is a real opportunity for marketers to deliver returns quicker, increase longevity and customise launches for different audiences to maximise on the investment they make," Jo White, agency head at Five by Five, told Marketing Week.

When asked which sector does the best job of building anticipation for a new product launch, 33% cited consumer technology, more than twice the proportion for video games (15%) and almost three times that of movies (12%).

Much of that consumer technology performance can be attributed to smartphones, with Apple singled out as a brand likely to stick in the mind. The secretive company has, of course, managed to generate enormous amounts of media coverage ahead of the launch of its products, fuelled by rumour and speculation.

Other sectors are generating barely any anticipation: automotive fared best at 6%, music, fashion and household technology all languished on 3%, and food and drink scored just 1%.

And even when consumers were aware of new grocery items or household products, more than one third (35%) of respondents complained they were unable to find them in-store.

"Co-ordination [between teams] is one of the key principles of launching a new product," observed White. "If you've got one weak link in the business piece you are going to undermine all the hard work that has been done."

The main reason for buying a new product or service was simply the joy of trying it, cited by half of those surveyed. But special offers or promotions could also entice around one third (35%) of them.

Similarly, online offers and competitions were a good way of building pre-launch interest for 52% of consumers, while video content (38%) and behind-the-scenes information (35%) were other significant ways of getting attention.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, The Cheat Sheet; additional content by Warc staff