I’m intrigued with what Quirky.com is doing to help bring new product concepts to market in a fast, efficient way. As one of the few platforms to make product development truly social, Quirky truly is the intersection of crowdsourcing and product ideation. The concept is simple: any member can submit a product idea to Quirky.com, and the community of influencers can help shape, refine and complete the product. The benefit is faster time to development with what could be a more commercially viable product.
Applying this model in CPG would likely be considered heresy among the ranks of most CPG market research teams. The CPG product development model is steeped in the tradition of generating lots of ideas, prototyping a few concepts, testing those concepts among a pre-screened panel, conducting lots of focus group session and ultimately making a bet to commercialize (or not). The crowdsourcing model turns over control and critical decision-making to the masses
The social product development model could help cut through the clutter much faster, and even help identify some whitespace product concepts that would otherwise have been tossed aside. I see great application for entrepreneurs that can’t afford traditional product development processes. I can even see some larger CPGs experimenting with platforms like Quirky, more from a learning perspective. But ultimately it’s the real success stories that will help attract more attention to this newer, potentially better development model.
Inmar recently published a press release highighting that 2009 saw year-over-year sequential growth in coupon redemption for the first time in 13 years. This activity translates into 27% annual growth from 2008 with nearly 3.3 Billion coupons redeemed. Pretty impressive statistics, but not at all suprising given the anemic global economy and cash-strapped consumers.
But the real news here is the contribution that digital coupons continue to deliver to this equation. The numbers tell the story all too well: Print coupon distribution via FSI accounted for 89% of total coupons in circulation and about half of redemptions…which leaves the balance to digital, mobile and point-of-sale coupon delivery. So roughly 10% of total coupon distribution (via digital and other means) drove roughly half of all redemptions.
On a related note, just today Cellfire and Verizon announced a pretty cool distribution partnership. It’s essentially a white label version of the Cellfire store, and will put digital coupons in front of a large swath of Verizon mobile users.
Given this very apparent shift to digital, it’s amazing that Valassis and other print media publishers are still able to command the insertion rates they do. I wonder how long it will be before they dump their print FSI service and go all-in to digital delivery only. Time will tell.
My friends over at CPGMatters published a roundup perspective of what’s important for industry trade and marketing strategists in the new year. They were also kind enough to quote me several times, alongside folks from McKinsey, PWC, Adesso and Synectics Group.
Not surprisingly, the list of themes is fairly consistent with many of the issues I have written about over the past few quarters. Some of the highlights include: pricing as a strategic lever, planning price and promotion strategies together, co-opetition with private label and maintaining a total category view when selling to retailers.
All in all, an on-target story that frames up some pretty important industry issues for 2010. You can access the full story here.
I try to separate the brandcentric blog material from my job at DemandTec, but given the subject matter the lines often blur. AMR Research recently recognized DemandTec’s market leadership position in account planning and collaborative deal management for CPG manufacturers. This report (note: AMR client access only) was published earlier this month by Lora Cecere and Steve Steutermann at AMR — two industry analysts that have themselves held brand and sales management roles for some of the leading CPG companies.
This recognition was the result of three solid years of market momentum by DemandTec combined with two strategy sessions and countless briefing calls I held with Lora and Steve. Rewarding to know that a lot of hard work across the company has ultimately paid off.
As a related side note, it was recently announced that AMR Research has been acquired by Gartner. The transaction just closed today. I see this move as a net positive for the industry and look forward to working with the expanded Gartner / AMR team in the weeks and months ahead.