Bisin: The Holy Grail of Food Manufacturers

August 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

I have to admit that ever since I started working in the Food industry my mind has molded into a food-mindset (that is: I learned how to cook – fairly well. I read a lot about food innovation, R&D. I watch the market movements of the key players)

Yesterday, I read news in the Telegraph about the “Holy Grail of the Food Industry”, but is it?.

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Gut Feeling, Intuition or Tacit Knowledge – How to Use It in Your Decision Making

August 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

Search for the words “gut feel” on Wikipedia and you’ll get emotion. Search for the “gut feeling” and you’ll get intuition. For most of us, its kind of our ‘inner word of wisdom’ that tells us something is not as it seems to be.

Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without the use of reason. It provides us with some beliefs that we cannot justify (this definition sounds like paradigm but it’s not).

It’s related to emotions because it’s an irrational response to a source that we cannot trust (or we just don’t have enough information).

It doesn’t matter if you’re a manager or a CEO. If you’re required to make decisions, you most certainly have felt some ‘inner energy’ or ‘conscience voice’ that tries to take over your reasoning to make the safe choice. This happens because our mind whenever facing a decision turns into a Fight-Flight-Freeze response (FFF) behavior.

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How big are FORTUNE 100 A&P Budgets?

August 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is a cool info-graphic  that I just found in twitter and thought it was good for sharing.

It contains the top 200 Brands Advertising budget

Information provided by: Marketing Degree

How to use the 5Cs situation Analysis on your Brand

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

In marketing there are only a few straight answers when planning the life cycle of a brand. It always depends on the manager’s perspective and the market circumstances whether a business will move forward or stay put on a given decision upon her risk assessment.

The 5Cs (consumer, company, collaborators, competition and climate) situation analysis is just another tool that helps you assess each opportunity in front of you. The output of the analysis depends on your perspective and the decision will always be yours.

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10 common mistakes during a product Launch

August 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here is some of my product launch know-how. Hope it helps:

1.- Differentiate:

No matter if your product is a radical innovation or a me-too product, you should be different (cheaper, more premium, tastier, bigger, smaller, etc). Remember that the #4 law (of Al Ries and Jack Trout’s The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing) says that it’s more important what consumer perceives of your product than reality.

2.- Novelty:

In the FMCG Industry, there are thousands of references in a typical store and you have to be able to communicate that your offer is NEW using proper packaging, design and POP.

3.- Sales people ownership: 

A new product won’t achieve the right shelf space or get free exhibitions because it’s new… Your sale force it’s an important player in the early results stage, so you must involve them and get them enthusiastic about the launch.

  1. Create an event: Sales people like to feel important, encourage their trust.
  2. Create a contest: the better they do, the better your results, little prices.
  3. Educate them: Give your sales force enough information so they can be creative, gain spaces and be ambassadors of your product.

4.- Distribution:

It’s easier to succeed if your product  is sold where your consumer is buying… this is only possible with the effort of your sales force. It’s important because if you don’t have enough ND, ATL Advertising is a waste of money and could lead to consumer frustration; if you don’t promote, you will hardly get your product rotation to optimum levels.

5.- Point of Sale Support:

How many consumers do you think buy on “automatic mode”? (plenty) Do you think they explore every product on the shelf before picking one? (not likely). You need to get the consumer’s attention so designing an impactful POP and use them wherever possible is a success strategy. Keep in mind that proper timing before launch is fundamental to see an impact on sales.

6.- Consistent Message:

If you’re using several channels of communication and you probably are (package, POS material, ATL, PR Event, etc) you must ensure that every channel offers the same benefits regardless of the media. One clear message is more effective than several competing benefits (Law of focus #5 – Owning a word on consumer’s mind).

7.- P.R. Event:

If you’re launching a radical innovation, you should use Public Relations to help your product come to life. If you have your objectives clear, a PR event can create the necessary buzz for the product to become trendy. Word of advice, don’t be cheap with the invitation nor the souvenir, they are key to success.ALWAYS include a product sample and if you’re selling a co-dependent product, also include the required appliance (unless it’s widely available)

8.- Create Awareness:

You need for consumers to know your product to be successful; hence you’re investing in some ATL. This is the moment to “put the fish in the table” don’t keep some budget for the extra shot, this is the time to get results, whether Reach (if you have an impactful ad) or repetition (if your benefits are common). This is also the time to give samples or perhaps a free-trial to get some word-of-mouth.

9.- Inventory management:

Breaking the flow of new products to the end consumer is something a few brands are allowed to err (Apple). You’re probably not immune to this, so Try to best forecast your early sales and be certain that an un-forecasted over-demand can be met within a few days of the launch (you could lose the launch inertia). If you need to over produce at first, it’s OK even if you have to dispose some product (but avoid this if possible).

10.- Timing:

You have to know your timings, be consistent and stick to them… This is probably why most launches fail. You can use the STAGE-GATE process to keep record of everything that’s happening and what to do next. Remember, good planning is better than good improvising.

Branding 101: Value Equation

August 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

This should be one of the first things to come to mind whenever we’re facing some kind of performance issue with our products. A couple decades ago this was an important equation, but with little competition it wasn’t as important as it is today. Nowadays there is too much competition, shelves are full of good or even great products (mostly decoded by consumers as “The same value”) Hence, we’re looking at the importance that Private Label Brands are gaining in FMCG Industries (sometimes more than 50% of SOM)

What most Marketers miss to analyze is the value equation of a Product Proposition.

Seth Goding, Speaks of it as the “Value Fraction“, most Brand Managers know it a “Value Equation” and it is represented as:

VALUE=BENEFIT/COST

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How to use your A&P budget wisely

July 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

I recently read an article “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re spending your money in all the wrong places” by David Edelman from HBR December 2010 issue that made me review my own A&P investment strategies and I have to acknowledge that until this moment I’ve always believed that a great product design and some quality tracking was enough effort on the post-sale and I mainly focused on creating demand (pre-sale efforts).

As Mr. Eldelman explains, we continue to use PUSH strategies to obtain brand consideration, leading to a sale. A consumer needs to know-you, consider-you, approve-you, buy-you. Hence, most expenditure is focused on the first two (knowledge, consideration) and just a bit of price discount with the purpose of building the greatest “Consideration Universe” assuming in the way that the conversion is based on price or other ‘traditional’ paradigms that we don’t challenge. We continue to forget out Consider-Buyer ratio.

In my experience, consumers like to know how a product will perform prior to purchasing-it… This is the reason infomercials work. Of course a great brand has “the performance” in its DNA. This value is also inheritable (umbrella brands). But what happens when you have 2 equally performing products?

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