Even seemingly perfect go-to-market strategies don’t always produce successful products. Data and focus groups are essential, but they aren’t everything. And today, when more and more people are becoming increasingly discerning about their food and considering all factors from nutrition to authenticity, it’s even more challenging to add value.
Given today’s landscape, how can food and beverage innovators optimize for success? At Linhart PR, we’ve managed dozens of product launches for various food and beverage clients. Three factors remain consistent keys to success, no mater the category, target audience, price point, focus group feedback, data or even marketing budget:
1. Forecast for trends
Let’s take nitro brewing as a case study. This is the process of adding nitrogen to liquid that creates tiny bubbles and a smooth “mouth feel.” Guinness has been doing it for decades, and in the past decade nitro brewing had the craft beer world buzzing. Now, some innovative coffee brands are creatively weaving the nitro brewing trend into their new product innovation.
Food trendsetters and influencers everywhere are talking about nitro brews of the alcoholic and nonalcoholic variety. It isn’t just hip coffee brands with hipster fans leading the charge in nitro. This spring, Starbucks rolled out a Nitro Cold Brew, followed shortly thereafter by the Califia Farms launch of the Nitro Draft Cold Brew Latte.
If you’re charged with innovation at your organization, it may be helpful to review existing trends in other relevant categories (nitro beer, in this example), and think about how your brand may leverage that trend in a way that brings value to your target audience (or even a new audience) in the future.
2. Move smartly but quickly
These coffee brands are striking while the iron is hot. No matter what happens next, they’ve grabbed hold of the category and market first, which typically gives them a huge competitive advantage. They’ve taken a very relevant craft beer trend, and creatively applied it to their businesses by creating new products quickly.
3. Ensure taste and quality
If a product doesn’t taste good, is a lesser “me to”, or doesn’t deliver on the consumer expectation, it may fall flat regardless of how on trend it is.
Think about trends, timing and quality as absolutely necessary ingredients for success. These three innovation cornerstones increase the likelihood that your product will sell. Linhart team members love to think about and talk strategy. We welcome the opportunity to get involved in early-stage discussions due to our deep product launch experience and successes.