Store Shelves Beat TV in New Brand Intros
If you’re rolling out a new product and you want consumers exposed to it,
television commercials are good but nothing beats getting it on store shelves.
According to research conducted in six countries by Nielsen Bases, stores
outdid television commercials by 50 percent to 36 percent when it came to making
consumers aware of new items. This margin is up from a 52 to 48 percent split
just four years ago, according to AdAge.com. U.S. numbers for stores
(53 percent) and television (39 percent) were higher than the overall averages.
Consumers identified as heavy buyers were even more likely to cite store shelves
as their introduction to new items (55 percent). The findings of research support
the overall increase that brand marketers have put into shopper marketing initiatives
in recent years.
Mike Twitty, director-shopper insights at Unilever Americas, told Ad Age, "For
the longest time, shopping has been pretty habitual. People buy the same 300
[items] over the course of the year, so there was a lot of repeat purchasing,
and not a lot of engagement at the shelf. What we saw in the last year contradicted
Economic factors drove some of that change, according to Mr. Twitty. "One
thing they did was check the prices of things they used to buy routinely without
giving it a thought.. So in-store became even more important than it had been
in the past for new products or all products."
Interestingly, just putting products on in-line shelves was the most important
factor in driving awareness of new items, according to the research. Seventy-one
percent said they noticed new products within the standard planogram while
secondary displays, retailer circulars, demos and in-store media graded out
no higher than 18 percent. In-store media and sampling only achieved scores
in the low single-digits, according to the Ad Age report.
Mike Hess, Carat’s exec VP-research, marketing science and consumer insights,
said the Bases research misses some key points in new product marketing.
"My concern as a media person is that I’m not sure in-store awareness
is the same as the awareness you get from TV in terms of strategic attributes
and benefits," he told Ad Age. "A 30-second spot gives you
that … the unique selling proposition."
Discussion Questions: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for
brands to create awareness and drive sales of new items through shopper marketing
initiatives? What does the research cited in this article say to you about
the role of television ads in new product launches?