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Developing new products? Here's what you need to think about. 

If you’re looking to grow, innovation needs to be a part of your game plan.


Consumers' wants and needs are constantly shifting. Whether you’re expanding your core range to meet those needs or innovating into adjacent categories, NPD can be a huge driver of growth for any brand.


But it can also be complex, involves significant time and cost investment, and can easily go very, very wrong without sound strategic direction and planning. If you’re using NPD as a strategy to drive growth for your business, these are some of the things you need to think about.

01. Potential Demand


Have a clear understanding of who the audience is for your new product and why they are going to want it. Is it in line with current consumer trends that can be validated with data? Or are you filling a long standing gap in the market? Both are valid, but ideally your product should answer yes to at least one of those questions - even better if it’s both.


02. Purpose


NPD can be used to drive growth in a multitude of ways, so set clear objectives for the launch of your new product. Is it going to appeal to your existing consumers and increase units sold or purchase frequency? Or are you looking to introduce a completely new group of consumers to your brand, with a completely new offering?


03. Differentiation


The fastest way to fail is to imitate. How is your new product going to be different from what else is on the shelf - both your competitors products and your existing range? The most successful NPD creates a solution to a consumer want or need that isn’t already being met.

04. Timing


Timing is everything. Not only in terms of seasonality and relevance, but in FMCG specifically, unfortunately you can’t just drop a new product into supermarkets whenever you want. Big retailers have structured category review processes where products on shelf are audited to make sure they’re delivering the best return on space. Find out when your category’s review is being held so you know when you’re going to need to sell your new product into retailers, when it will need to be on shelf, and build out your NPD timelines from there.

Shifting consumer behaviours, hyper-competitive landscapes and retailer demands can be hard to balance. But by asking yourself the right questions at the outset of your NPD process, you’ll end up with strong products that consumers actually want to purchase, a compelling story for your sell-in to retailers, and ultimately you’ll have set yourself up for success by the time your product ends up on shelf.

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