Every year, the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey examines how marketers introduce new products to consumers and what kind of response they get in return. The survey is conducted by Schneider Associates, a marketing communications and public relations agency in Boston, and Sentient Decision Science, LLC, a market research and consulting firm in Portsmouth, N.H.
More than 70,000 new products are launched every year in the United States alone, yet more than half of US residents can’t recall a single new product launched in 2013, the report said. The survey is intended to help the people behind brands better understand consumers.
More than 1,000 people over age 18 participated in an online survey about products that were unveiled between October 2012 and September 2013.
The researchers have also found a way to measure consumers’ emotional connection to a new product. The report suggests that emotional connections are becoming more important to having a successful product launch as more and more consumers have difficulty recalling new items coming to the marketplace.
“The Most Memorable New Products evoked strong emotions in consumers. In fact, there is an extremely high correlation between the emotional association with a new product and the likelihood of purchasing the product,” the report said.
Keep in mind that a product can have a successful product launch, but still lag behind expectations in terms of sales or quality. This survey, rather, is focused on what consumers remember, and why.
Here’s a look at the top 1o product launches, according to the report. Next
No. 10: 2014 Toyota Corolla (tie)
What is it? The updated Corolla has a roomy interior and features like Bluetooth connectivity.
Launch date: July 2013
What did Toyota do? Toyota used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube videos, and TV spots, including a popular commercial featuring a grumpy cat who wanted a ride in the latest Corolla. The commercial generated nearly 1.5 million views on Toyota’s YouTube channel.
“Feel good inside” was the tagline that Toyota used.
“Toyota made sure to point out that owning a Corolla is more than just driving a car; it’s a lifestyle choice for its customers,” the report said.
The company also hosted events where customers could drive the new Corolla outside of a dealership. The events were promoted on social media.
No. 10: Nintendo 2DS (tie)
What is it? An easy-to-hold gaming device designed for children age 7 and under, which features a dual screen experience and durable case.
Launch date: Oct. 12, 2013
What did Nintendo do? Print ads, TV spots, radio, and outdoor advertising were used in the campaign.
Retailers posted prominent signage in stores and made test devices available for consumers to try.
The television spots featured one of Nintendo’s highest grossing games, “Pokemon X and Y.” Consumers could also buy the device and Pokemon games together in a package deal.
The results: Marketing the device with Pokemon and using an integrated campaign attracted loyal customers and new gamers, the report said.
Also, the release date generated holiday sales at the end of November and early December.
No. 9: 2013 Dodge Dart
What is it? A compact sedan featuring high-tech enhancements and luxury styling, including specialty lighting, colored dashboard display, a rear cross path detection system, and spot monitoring.
Launch date: November 2012
What did Dodge do? The marketing campaign focused on TV spots and print ads. Social media was used mainly to direct people to view commercials for the Dart on Dodge’s YouTube channel.
The TV spots used the theme “changing cars forever,” presenting the vehicle as an innovative breakthrough and demonstrating for viewers the design process from inception to launch.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and musical artist Pitbull were tapped as spokespeople for the vehicle.
The ad featuring Pitbull was bilingual, allowing Dodge to reach a different audience.
The car company also created a mini-series that was available on its YouTube page called “Dodge Dart Road Trip.” The series was hosted by automotive enthusiast Steve Magnante, and focused on traveling in the Dart.
The results: Dodge’s approach made the Dart stand out among competitive ads, the report said.
“The wide range of information and personalities the brand provided allowed an equally wide range of consumers to connect with the car in a new way,” the report said.
No. 8: McDonald’s Steak, Egg, & Cheese Bagel
What is it? A toasted bagel with a steak patty, eggs, American cheese, and grilled onions.
Launch date: Aug. 13, 2013
What did McDonald’s do? The campaign focused on print advertising and in-store marketing. This opened the product up to existing McDonald’s customers and breakfast lovers who wanted to give the sandwich a try.
The launch also coincided with a move by Dunkin’ Donuts, a competitor, to add red meat to its breakfast menu.
The primary consumers for the sandwich were current customers looking for something different, the report said.
Social media did not take a main role in the campaign, but customers did take to Twitter to talk about the sandwich.
The results: After introducing this sandwich, McDonald’s came out with the Egg White Delight McMuffin as a lighter breakfast option. Next
No. 7: Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer
What is it? A moisturizer that is packaged in a bottle with a 360-degree continual spray applicator. The product moisturizes and absorbs quickly to minimize drying time.
Launch date: Jan. 1, 2013
What did Vaseline do? The campaign focused on streamlining consumers’ morning routines. It included print ads in popular women’s magazines, TV spots, celebrity endorsements, and social media. One TV ad featured a young woman getting ready quickly in the morning.
Vaseline partnered with actress Nia Vardalos from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and CafeMom to put together an interactive campaign called “Max the Morning.” The promotion included tips, prizes, and a video series on YouTube.
Vaseline also targeted mothers, hosting a contest for moms to walk the runway called “#SprayandStrut.” People could apply online to win a trip to New York City to walk in the #SprayAndStrut Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Consumers promoted the product in blog reviews and on the company’s Facebook page.
The results: Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer is one of the few personal care products to be named to the list of most memorable new product launches.
No. 6 Microsoft Surface
What is it? A tablet computer that is designed for a PC-friendly audience.
Launch date: Oct. 26, 2012
What did Microsoft do? The company began promoting the tablet with a press conference in June 2012. Curiosity about how Microsoft’s tablet would compare with those made by Apple and other companies generated buzz in the technology community.
Microsoft emphasized the Surface’s ability to remix songs and targeted students by including the full MS Office suite.
The tablet is also light and comes with a built-in stand and keyboard.
Digital and print advertisements were designed and huge billboards created to be displayed on the sides of buildings.
Microsoft also launched retail locations to sell Surface, Xbox, and Windows phones. Well-known musical acts like Weezer performed at the openings of Microsoft stores.
The standalone retail locations freed Microsoft from relying on other retailers to showcase and sell its products.
The results: Since the launch, Microsoft has also introduced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2.
Surface was the best-selling product at Best Buy on Black Friday, and Microsoft reported that its sales have doubled since last quarter, the report said.
More details: The Surface did not score well in terms of consumers’ emotional ties to the product. The tablet had a score of 85 out of a possible 200 on that measure.
Also, only 30 percent of consumers were able to name it as a product that launched in 2013, the report said. Next
No. 5: Apple’s iPad Mini
What is it? A smaller version of the original iPad with a 7.9-inch screen size, an improved camera, and personal assistant Siri.
Launch date: Oct. 23, 2012
What did Apple do? The company used multiple media channels to promote the smaller tablet, including television spots that compared the device to the original iPad.
The song “Two of a Kind” by Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer was used for a commercial—a nod to the similarities between the two iPads.
Apple also purchased the back cover of Time magazine to show customers that they could read magazines on the iPad Mini.
The advertisement was recognized with the Grand Prix for Press award at the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.
It was also credited with generating digital magazine subscriptions.
Apple sought to reach a new audience by emphasizing that the iPad Mini is less expensive than the original iPad. Women were targeted because of the device’s handbag-friendly size.
The results: The iPad Mini drew smaller crowds than other Apple product launches. But the company didn’t ditch the concept. An updated iPad Mini with retina display was introduced late last year.
No. 4: Burger King’s Satisfries
What is it? French fries with 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories that cost 30 cents more than Burger King’s regular fries.
Launch date: Sept. 1, 2013
What did Burger King do? The fast-food chain changed the name of a few of its locations in the United States to “Fries King.” The move created buzz on social media as confused patrons asked about the name change. The hashtag #FriesKing also went viral on Twitter.
The results: Satisfries have gained so much publicity and recognition that they are a top 10 contender for the Most Memorable New Product Launch of 2014. Next
No. 4: Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger
What is it? A hamburger featuring a soft pretzel bun, quarter-pound hamburger patty, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard sauce. It was inspired German cuisine.
Launch date: April 1, 2013
What did Wendy’s do? The restaurant chain held a product launch at its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. The campaign included national TV, radio, outboard billboards, and reality-TV star Nick Lachey, who sang songs about the product inspired by tweets about the cheeseburger from fans. The hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs was used.
A video featuring Lachey premiered in August and the restaurant’s redheaded spokeswoman also promoted the sandwich in television spots.
The results: The menu item was sold for a limited time and is no longer available. Since its launch, Wendy ‘s introduced its Pub Chicken Sandwich, which also has a pretzel bun.
More details: The cheeseburger generated positive emotional associations among consumers, scoring 187 out of a possible 200 on the Sentient Prime index scale. The scale was developed by Sentient Decision Science to gauge the emotional associations consumers have for products.
Further, 61 percent of consumers recalled the menu item, the report said.
No. 4: Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos and Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos (tie)
What is it? Tacos created by a collaboration between Taco Bell, and Frito Lay, the parent company of Doritos.
Launch date: March 7, 2013
What did Taco Bell and Frito Lay do? Taco Bell began promoting the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco through videos, beginning in February 2013. The company also introduced the hashtag #CoolRanchDLT” on Twitter.
A series of televisions spots were also posted on the company’s YouTube page. Taco Bell contacted people who tweeted about wanting the Cool Ranch taco, and invited them to a local destination that had seemingly nothing to do with the food.
Visitors who went to a florist shop asking for a “blue bouquet,” a barbershop “to look cool,” or approached a parking lot valet for “the blue one,” were rewarded with the new tacos.
If the customers spoke the incorrect code word, they would actually receive a blue bouquet, flowers, or a haircut. The encounters were also captured on live video.
The product was pushed on Facebook, Instagram, print and radio ads.
The result: Since the release of the Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch flavors, Taco Bell has sold more than 600 million Doritos Locos Tacos. Next
No. 3: Apple’s iPhone 5c
What is it? A lower-cost iPhone that is available in five colors.
Launch date: Sept. 9, 2013
What did Apple do? As usual, Apple held a press event to announce the iPhone 5c and the updated iPhone 5S.
Marketing for the less-expensive iPhone 5c focused on how the smartphone differentiated from the iPhone 5S, especially the color options.
The ads had a one color background with an image on the phone and did not list the device’s specifications or price. Television commercials featured a three-dimensional shell being filled with colorful plastic to create the phones.
Later ads focused sought to create emotional connections with the iPhone 5c and highlighted the device as an affordable smartphone for the masses. The global reach of the iPhone was also demonstrated in a commercial that showed people around the world saying “hello” in multiple languages.
The result: Apple said it has sold 9 million iPhones 5S and 5C during the first weekend of sales — a new record for the company. However, Apple did not specify how many iPhone 5Cs were included in those 9 million, according to Mashable. A report in the Wall Street Journal also said that Apple was cutting orders for the iPhone 5c because of lower than expected demand.
More details: Despite the reports that Apple cut its production orders for the iPhone 5c, there’s more to the story, said Tom Ryan, vice president and director of integrated marketing at Schneider Associates, Inc.
The iPhone 5c marked a departure for Apple, which is known for its premium products. This smartphone represents a more affordable and democratic option, Ryan said. Further it provided Apple with an answer to the growing popularity of Android phones in emerging markets, he said.
Ryan also said reports indicate that 40 percent of all iPhone 5c sales came from consumers switching over from Android.
No. 2: Twinkies
What is it? A beloved American snack cake.
Launch date: August 2013
What did the company do? Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. purchased the brand after Hostess declared bankruptcy in late 2012.
The new managers dubbed the return of Twinkies to store shelves as “The Sweetest Comeback in the History of Ever.”
The launch was promoted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram. Consumers were encouraged to share their thoughts about the re-launch, as well as pictures of Hostess products on a site called “Prepare Your Cake Face.”
A food truck traveled across the United States, making a final stop in Times Square in New York City on the launch date.
The product was also given a new target audience. Instead of being targeted to children, the Twinkie was dubbed “dude food” in an attempt to get young men interested in the snack.
The results: The campaign generated more than 350 million Twitter impressions and 500,000 new Facebook fans.
No. 1: Microsoft Windows 8
What is it? A touch-optimized computer operating system.
Launch date: Oct. 26, 2012
What did Microsoft do? New and relatively unknown music was used throughout the advertising campaign, which featured the user experience rather than product features.
Unique ads were created for different markets, including Asia, where ads featured Parkour, a type of urban running.
Microsoft also set up hands-on installations and demonstrations in New York City. For three days, the company took over 39 digital advertising screens in Times Square. The event attracted more than 2 million visitors.
A demonstration was also held at a shopping center in the United Kingdom. Microsoft built a giant slide atop a long staircase, and consumers who took the slide were greeted with a photo and a chance to use Windows 8 on new Surface tablets.
The result: Microsoft sold 70 million copies of Windows 8 in fewer than four months after its release. The product also helped the company get away from its “seemingly outdated and ‘dinosaur’ reputation.”
More details: One reason Windows 8 may have been so memorable is Microsoft’s ubiquity, said Tom Ryan, vice president and director of integrated marketing and creative at Schneider Associates, Inc. Also, the operating system was used on Microsoft phones and the Surface tablet, which was introduced at same time.
Still, consumers found problems with the system, leading Microsoft to unveil the updated Windows 8.1 last October. Back to the beginning
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