Merchandising 201

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Have you ever wondered why chefs, designers, and celebrities continue to innovate with new cookbooks or products? Or why collaborations are so successful at driving acquisition?

It’s because brands understand the power of loyalty and are willing to play the numbers to jumpstart merchandising strategies.

A new study shows that 60% of shoppers prefer new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new brand, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment.

“Innovating on established brands that are already trusted by consumers can be a powerful strategy,” said Rob Wengel, Senior Vice President, Nielsen Innovation Analytics. “Companies spend millions of dollars on new product innovation, yet two out of every three new products will not be on the market within three years. Marketers and retailers can deliver successful new products by ensuring they uncover unmet consumer needs, communicate with clarity, deliver distinct product innovations, and execute an optimal marketing strategy.”

Half (50%) of global respondents say they are generally willing to consider a new product purchase, with respondents in North America and the Middle East/Africa (57%) most enthusiastic about making a switch. Nielsen’s survey shows that value and proof-of-concept make a difference: more than two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they would consider value or store-brand options, and two-thirds (60%) will wait until a new innovation has proven itself before making a purchase.

“Consumers are enthusiastic about adopting new product innovations but somewhat apprehensive about embracing new brands,” said Wengel. “In order for consumers to adopt new brands, marketers need to launch very strong awareness and trial-building campaigns, supported by a positive product experience. Generating positive word-of-mouth endorsements are important, because negative experiences can significantly diminish the likelihood of new product success.”

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing a compelling new item, brand familiarity is clearly one of several key characteristics that resonate strongly with consumers so that products are easily recognizable on the shelf. Read more about the study here