Proactive, innovative initiatives will differentiate your products and your business - SKUFood
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Proactive, innovative initiatives will differentiate your products and your business

Can you develop proactive, innovative ideas for your customers and consumers?

There are so many products in the market it can be a challenge to bring innovation to your category. One of the assumptions suppliers make is that product innovation is a consumer-focused attribute. There is no doubt consumer focused innovations are important but they are not a guarantee of success.

The best proactive, innovative ideas benefit your customers and consumers.

In our C.A.R.T. process the Retail plan column includes the question; What proactive, innovative initiatives can you develop?

Some practical examples in the real world of products that deliver innovation to customers and consumers

Theory is nice but let’s explore some real-world examples

Why have Tide Pods been successful?

Most people answer because they are convenient for consumers and they are less mess in the laundry room. These are both good points and true. Consumers do like this product for these reasons.

They are also successful because they delivered innovation to retailers, P&G’s customers. Here is how they do it:

In celebration of our 100th edition of the SKUFood newsletter we decided to give away one free SKUFood membership!

If you think of liquid or even powdered laundry detergent, we sell it in bottles or boxes that contain enough for say 32 or 64 wash loads. Consumers would pay 14.99 for a 44 wash load bottle or .34 per load. When consumers took the Tide home, they would not fill the liquid to the line in the little cup, hoping to perhaps get 46 wash loads from the bottle. If they are able to cheat a bit each time, they are now only paying 14.99 for 46 wash loads or .325 per load. When you add up all the Tide that is a lot of money.

When consumers buy the Tide Pods, they see it as more convenient and less mess and retailers like it too. They are now getting the higher sales and margin per wash load. People have to use one Tide Pod per load. That is innovation that benefits consumers and customers.

A small section in the water category adds significant profit

Some categories deliver more profit than others. When you can deliver proactive innovative ideas to help grow sales and profits for your customers, especially in low profit categories, you will be popular.

The bottled water category is very competitive and many retailers sell these items. Often the everyday margin is very low.

Retailers were very excited to see the small bottles of water flavouring gain traction with consumers. This was an opportunity to generate more sales from consumers buying water and add to the overall category margin. The margin on the flavourings was significantly higher than the 24 pack of bottled water. When consumers purchased both, the result was better.

Consumers like the products too as it adds to their water purchase. For people trying to find alternatives to pop or juice this was an improvement over plain water.

Coffee pods changed the mindset

One category that has changed significantly in the store is coffee. Shelf space was split between whole beans, ground coffee and instant coffee. The introduction of coffee pods provided a whole new convenience perspective to consumers. When you calculate the cost per cup of whole beans to pods it is a significant difference.

Retailers like the pods because the category now generates more sales per linear foot. Consumers are paying 2-3 times more per cup for the convenience of the pods. Pods have also introduced a significant amount of variety into the category. There are many SKUS for lattes, flavoured and even branded that were not available in the old coffee section.

The convenience and flavours are popular with consumers and the higher revenue per cup are a win for retailers.

You need to satisfy customers and consumers to win

When you are looking at your category, your products and your business, push for innovation that will benefit your customers and consumers. Those are the real winners.

If you have any questions or help figuring out how to get your product on the shelf or in the shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email