Given the fact that 73% of all launches per year end as flops and only 6% become larger successes, it is vital to predict the sales potential of new product ideas as soon and as reliably as possible. We have developed several tools to increase your speed to market at different stages throughout the development process based on the experience that great ideas often initially do not live up to expectations because some details have been solved sub-optimally: Concept-$ales Effect Test, Product-$ales Effect Test, Packaging and Design-$ales Effect Test, Communication-$ales Effect Test and $ales Effect-Market Simulation (for total marketing-mixes).
To get a reliable indication of new product ideas’ future market chances (usually at an early development stage) we use sequential significance analysis in combination with explorations or the Limbique Emotional Explorer (LEE). The sequential significance analysis is often also called “significance trouser” (because the statistical analysis schema looks similar to a pair of trousers.) The advantage of the sequential analysis is that it allows significant tests with a low number of respondents (often 30 respondents are sufficient). This is important if the interviews are expensive (eg. with experts, physicians) or only a limited number of product samples are available. Bases are pair comparisons (eg. comparison of a new product concept with the individual main brand or comparison between two alternative concepts). The “significance trouser” is used only by a limited number of experts which is partly due to the fact that it used to be a top US military secret.
Heinz Green Tomato Ketchup was a great success in the US. In the first two years after the launch more than 25 million bottles were sold. Subsequently a roll out in several international countries happened. – However, our qualitative research results for other food products indicated that green ketchup would not be in line with German consumer expectations. Therefore we expected a flop in Germany and did a small validation study: „significance trouser“ method using the $ales Effect brand choice criterion.
We purchased the first available Heinz Green Tomato Ketchup bottles in Germany. 30 qualitative interviews with ketchup users were carried outincluding product taste testing. Heinz Green Tomato Ketchup lost in pair comparisions in 25 of 30 cases. The result was significant in favor of the individual current main brand already after 10 interviews. The „significance trouser“ method using the $ales Effect brand choice criterion predicted a flop.
The sales performance of Heinz Green Tomato Ketchup in Germany was poor. It turned out to be a flop as predicted. – Another effort to launch Heinz Green Tomato Ketchup some years later also failed at shop test level.
The Coca Cola Zero and WD 40 case studies show other validations of the “significance trouser” in combination with our brand choice criterion.
Methods used: 30 explorations, analysis using the „significance trouser“ method and the $ales Effect brand choice criterion