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Innovation at Retail

Innovation at Retail: Measuring Impact Across Go-to-Market Plan 

We’ve all heard the phrase “if you’re not innovating, you’re dying”.  But at a time when the pace of rapidly changing consumer preferences are matched only by the pace at which market disruptions and innovations are introduced, CPG leaders are looking closer at their go-to-market strategy to identify ways to solidify the path to purchase and deliver a winning new portfolio play.   
A winning go-to-market strategy for new items requires a fresh look at what it means to innovate.  A simple five-word definition, offered by long-term innovation expert Scott D. Anthony, holds the key: Innovation is something different that has impact.  The consumer industry is standing on the edge of a tectonic shift that will dramatically influence the future of markets, retail, and the innovations within it.  More and more CPG companies are now taking a fresh look at their product development process in the hopes of accelerating top-line growth, making room for the right items to strategically position their portfolio for future growth, and generate the strongest possible ROI from new item launches. 
Successful innovations require more than a spark of creativity and ingenuity; they are molded into success stories not in a single session, but through a strategic season full of testing, learning, iterating, and growing.  At the core of innovation lies the concept of impact.   
Observational research through the lens of shopper behavior provides the objectivity and precision that can enable expansive thinking and problem solving, as traditional metrics leave CPG marketers in the dark about the wide-ranging in-store realities that can have a profound impact on a campaign.  This real-life “cause and effect” observation of real shoppers in real stores has become a cornerstone of many successful innovators’ piloting process.  Over the first half of 2023, VideoMining has seen a significant uptick in the number of industry pioneers thinking beyond the brainstorm and into the store itself to leverage design principles that bring the big ideas across the finish line in the final moments of truth. 

Top 3 Ways Industry Leaders Leverage Behavioral Insights for Winning Innovations:


Method #1: Predictive Piloting

Before rolling out new items on a massive scale, many CPG manufacturers leverage VideoMining’s behavioral coaches to test and learn the power of a new concept or product offering.  By testing the impact in select Behavior Lab stores, marketers can move forward with confidence in their projections for future sales and overall category share performance.  These studies help not only with forecasting and resource allocation, but also as new item sell in stories once the concept is ready for channel-wide distribution.
These predictive pilots also help uncover potential performance gaps and provide contextual diagnostics to tweak an innovation before a national rollout.  

Method #2: Packaging Innovation

Sometimes, packaging refreshes are tested virtually and/or in hypothetical settings that do not fully capture the reality of the shopper’s in-store experience.  As a result, food and beverage manufacturers can end up producing new packaging that falls flat on the shelf, leading to costly redesigns and significant share loss.  To eradicate this blind spot, more and more marketers are introducing packaging test and learns, where they test and learn the impact of key packaging factors, such as color profile, package shape and material, font size, value statements, visual stimulus, etc.   

Method #3: Trade Marketing and Merchandising Innovation

Even the best ideas can die at the shelf if not thoroughly supported by a carefully planned and executed in-store strategy.  Marketers looking to take the guesswork out of product launches are increasingly relying on in-store behavioral data to bring depth and detail to merchandising decisions.  For example, such data can be instrumental in identifying the optimal placements of secondary in-store displays and promotions based on detailed traffic flows and store heatmaps when overlaid with trip missions and shopper demographic profiles. 
Without impact, there can be no considerable innovation.  Winning CPG manufacturers are looking closer at in-store observation-led behavioral research to bring clarity and purpose to test and learns.  This, in turn, provides a rock solid foundation upon which wide-scale innovation success is achieved across all retail channels. 

Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

In-store testing through observational research can unlock insights that will drive innovation pipelines and empower trade and shopper marketing teams to support product launches with in-store campaigns designed to win with shoppers in their true moment of choice.    
At VideoMining, we’re passionate about unlocking insights around the actual behaviors of shoppers through AI-powered observational research. We look beyond what shoppers say they’ll do, or report back they did, to analyze the most raw and true version of evidence: their actual actions and behaviors using a large sample (often in 100s of millions of store trips). This provides a one-of-a-kind perspective that is rooted in fact, not theory.  Interested to see what behavioral insights can unlock for you?  Drop us a line: