Surfacing Game-Changing New Product Ideas in Your Category
The Demand MapTM has been integral in helping clients identify and launch entirely new products during a wide range of economic conditions. For example:
- Surface an opportunity for a new alcoholic beverage product that was ultimately one of the most successful CPG products of 2008
- Highlight an emerging dark chocolate opportunity (addressing unmet taste AND texture benefits), enabling client to lead the market with a dark strategy and realize significant top-line growth
- Identify an opportunity for a new packaged meats product to address unsatisfied demand for super premium beef products, and ultimately drive unprecedented brand revenue and profit growth
- Launch an entirely new insurance offer built around key needs of the most profitable demand, which would ultimately be the most successful new product the company had ever had
As the formerly "pale green shoots" of economic recovery begin to take root and grow – in the form of improved consumer spending, optimistic talk from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, stock market rallies and even the declaration that "the Great Recession of 2008-09 is over" by the nation's top business economists – now is the opportune time for businesses with the type of precise understanding of demand we have discussed in previous mailings to leverage these insights to bring game-changing, growth-fueling innovations to market. In the past year alone, despite the recession, The Cambridge Group has assisted our clients in creating several new products worth >$500MM in incremental sales and +100 basis points of margin. In truth, as the recession comes to an end, now is the opportune time to leverage The Cambridge Group's unique and proprietary tool, The Demand MapTM to realize significant results.
In this mailing we will address the following, and illustrate how the Demand MapTM can be applied to your brand and/or product category.
- What is it?
- How is it done?
- What does the output/result look like?
- What does it deliver?
- What is the Demand MapTM?
At its most basic level, the Demand MapTM is a segmentation of consumers based upon the key parameters that define their preferences in any given category. For example:
- Taste, texture, visual/color, aroma, performance
- Short and longer term benefits
- Rational (health) and emotive (image) benefits
- Context and interaction with other products
For a confectionery brand, for example, the Demand MapTM segmented consumers based upon their underlying taste, texture, form and benefit preferences as well as other important dimensions that impact preference and purchase (e.g., price, quality, nutritional/caloric credentials, eating enjoyment, and, potentially, pack size orientation).
- How is it done?
The process of developing the Demand MapTM is actually relatively straightforward. The team first builds consumers' preference profiles by having them make a series of binary discrete choices across a variety of dimensions; e.g., in confectionery, taste, texture, form, benefit, eating experience, potentially even pack size/format. Not surprisingly, the quality of your resulting segments is directly related to the quality of your discrete choice dimensions. Spending significant time with consumers to fully understand their experiences and desires in your category is vital to ensuring your available choices fully cover consumers' experiences with your product. For example, illustrative choices in the confectionery category are presented below.
Consumers are then statistically clustered into distinct segments – or in the case of confectionery, 'palates' – based on the combination of benefits/attributes consumers chose. These segments represent the range of consumer preferences/ experiences in your category.
- What does the output look like?
The output will in many ways look like a traditional segmentation, however in Demand MapsTM, consumers have been clustered to uncover homogeneous likes, or in this case, tastes. In the confectionery category, for example, the palates identified homogeneous flavor and texture 'tastes', not just ingredients, as the key drivers of consumer demand.
Demand MapTM segments can ultimately be mapped against more 'traditional' consumer segments to provide a rich mosaic of the dominant consumer segments and product domains within a marketplace. This type of map has proved invaluable in brand alignment, portfolio optimization and competitive assessment/vulnerability efforts.
- What does the Demand MapTM deliver? What are its benefits?
The Demand MapTM has a range of benefits, not the least of which is helping consumers, marketers and technical specialists speak the same language (a language directly linked to physical product attributes). For example, for those key CPG case examples in the last year:
More fundamental than that, the Demand MapTM enables TCG teams to reliably identify new and emerging product opportunities. The process allows teams to both identify market opportunities (by assessing the gap between preference/palate segment size and current category volume aligned against those segments) as well as reliably size preference/palate domains that are predictive of future purchase and consumption. In addition, when plotted against more traditional consumer segments it enables teams to assess how well/poorly existing brands are aligned against market opportunities (and thus drive portfolio optimization efforts), not to mention assess competitive vulnerabilities.
Ultimately, the Demand MapTM, like the other tools we have highlighted through these mailings, is another in the arsenal of Precision tools that The Cambridge Group brings to bear for our clients and their products. If you are interested in learning more about how the Demand MapTM can help surface game-changing opportunities for your brand and your industry please contact us at 314-425-3600, or visit us at www.thecambridgegroup.com.
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