CPG In-Store Product Launching

Goals

To provide case studies (3-5) of new product launches in the CPG vertical that are considered "best-in-class". These should be for CPG products that are available at mainstream grocery stores and retailers (Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, Target, etc). The case studies should focus on shopper marketing activations that supported the product launch at the store. For each case study, provide 1) what the product was, 2) how the activation/launch was executed at the store, 3) why the launch is considered successful, and 4) success metrics. Additionally, to provide best practices for launching new CPG products at mainstream grocery and retailers, specifically as the practices relate to shopper marketing.

Early Findings

Case Study: Unilever

  • About the Product: Unilever was launching a new line of dry spray antiperspirant products. The company had developed this product format across several of its antipersperiant brands: Degree, Axe, and Dove.
  • In-Store Launch Execution: Prior to the product's official launch, the company set up 'coming soon' boxes in stores to help spread awareness and get consumers excited. Next, the company had semi-permanent shelf fixtures installed (end caps) which featured all five of the new dry spray deodorants and informational graphics that explained the benefits of the new product. Lastly, the brand provided demos/samples so shoppers could actually try the product before choosing to buy it. Coupons were also given out.
  • Image: A photo of the end cap display can be seen here.
  • Other Launch Features: The company combined in-store launch features with digital marketing tactics, including a hashtag (#TryDry) and an educational video.
  • Why The Launch Was Successful: The company wanted to not only have a successful launch but also convert users to the new product for the long term. In doing so, the company had to find a way to combat shopper skepticism about this product. Offering coupons and samples was the key way the company was able to get customers to trial the new product because the company analyzed ethnographies and determined that users had a good chance of switching to dry deodorant once they personally tested it.
  • Results: After the launch, the company saw a 50% increase in dry spray category sales, millions of coupons were redeemed, and several hundred thousand samples were given out. On a side note, the educational video the company put out was viewed over 700,000 times.

Best Practice: Focus on Retailer-Specific Strategies Rather Than A Singular Strategy Across All Retailers

  • According to Tamara Budz, founder of marketing agency, Silver Shade Group, it's important to plan ahead before designing the launch to understand the protocols the specific retailer(s) have because this can differ from one to the next. Tamara Budz notes "The key to a successful retail launch is advance planning. Each retailer has a slightly different process to manage both product and marketing. If you plan ahead, you can leverage the similarities and manage the differences.
  • Insights published by Nielsen second's this as a best practice, stating "Your relationship with retail buyers requires continued commitment. Find out what metrics and category drivers are important to each of them. And understand their success criteria to align your strategies with theirs."
  • When Budweiser launched their new Bud Light Seltzer products in March 2020, they used a variety of different in-store displays depending on the retailer, rather than rolling out homogeneous displays across every one. Some examples can be seen here, here, here. Within just weeks of launching, Budlight Seltzer became one of the top-selling hard seltzer beverages in the United States.

Results of Early Findings

  • Many of the relevant case studies that are publicly available do not disclose the name of the CPG brand the company is about, which is generally not ideal. This poses a challenge in the research process, however, based on the results of this pre-research, our team determined that with applied persistence we should be able to locate at least 4 additional case studies to add to the case study presented above (which would collectively provide the requested 5 studies). In doing so, we will avoid case studies that are "brandless".
  • "Best-In-Class" examples can be defined as those that showed a high level of success, such as the Unilever example above.
  • In addition to the proposed metrics, we can also include any visuals related to the in-store promotions.
  • Additionally, there is a wealth of information available from industry experts that provide best practices on in-store CPG product launches. To start, we should be able to provide at least six best practices with corresponding examples.

Research proposal:

Only the project owner can select the next research path.
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