Product launches aren't memorable, research reveals

Five by Five MD Jo White reveals consumer thoughts on product launches
Five by Five MD Jo White reveals consumer thoughts on product launches

New research from marketing agency Five by Five has suggested that consumers love new products, but only 28% could name a product launch that they have been to.

According to the results of the survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Five by Five, three-quarters (74%) of consumers are excited by the prospect of trying a new product, but only 28% could name a product launch that they could remember.

Jo White, managing director at Five by Five, said the appetite for new products and services was there, however, the fact that so few have been truly memorable shows there’s a huge opportunity for brands in this area. She added: "Launches can be highly stressful, terrifying, exciting and wonderful. The best ones have a unifying golden thread, tell a meaningful story and are highly co-ordinated.

"Consumers want to see new services and items on the shelf, which puts the onus on marketers and brands to make sure they arrive with a bang and not a whimper."

Sector spotlight

Half of consumers said they have waited in line to buy a new product – with men more likely to do so than women. One fifth (21%) of those surveyed said they have waited in a queue to buy new technology, with the consumer technology sector ranked first for building anticipation when it comes to launching something new - 32% said it was the best category.

Apple was the brand most people named as creating product launches that stuck in the memory – particularly those for the iPhone and iPad.

Almost one third (31%) of consumers said they liked to see product launches fronted by the company’s chief executive, and a third of shoppers (33%) buy new tech if it does something no other product can do.

Almost one fifth (18%) of respondents said they have waited in line to see a new movie, and only one in ten have done the same to buy a new computer game, ranked below those who have queued for a new book (15%). Around one in eight women (13%) have also waited in a queue to buy newly-launched cosmetics.

According to the survey, women are considerably more likely than men to see a new film or TV show because it features a particular actor they like.

For computer game launches four out of ten consumers (41%) said they try out new games before they buy, while one in five (21%) want to see more creativity and innovation in how video games are launched. When it comes to fashion product launches, the top three factors that encourage people to buy new fashion were whether the clothes were similar to what they already buy, special offers and good reviews.

Statistics about product launches within the grocery and FMCG sector included more than a third (35%) have heard about a new grocery/household product but then not been able to find it in-store, and two-thirds of consumers (67%) were more likely to buy a new item if they’ve tried it out first. The number-one purchase driver for new products was special offers and promotions.

The research also revealed that more than a quarter of consumers (28%) like seeing relaunches of old or discontinued brands, but around one in ten (9%) thought those relaunches were not done well. Some of the respondents (21%) believed these were cynical attempts to cash in on nostalgia.

Social media was not seen as a priority by consumers when it comes to new launches, with only 4% basing their buying decision for new items on social buzz. Less than 10% wanted websites for new products to contain content they can share online.

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