Most Memorable New Product Launch 2016

Brendan Cooney
Director of Behavioral Science, Sentient Decision Science

Results of the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey are in. A few key findings from the fifteenth annual study between Schneider Associates and Sentient are highlighted online in Forbes. We’ll expand on a few more here.

The MMNPL study features feedback from a national, census-balanced sample of consumers. This study identifies the most memorable new product launches of the year and highlights the latest trends in consumer purchasing behavior and media consumption.

The 2016 Election Might Trump Your Product Launch

Companies launching new products this year must brace for a Sisyphean battle with the election cycle. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders are dominating the airwaves and our conversations. How do we quantify that? Only 50% of consumers on average can recall—unprompted by examples—a single new product launch. In the past two election years, that number has dipped to as low as 31% in 2008.

But it will be merely difficult, not impossible, for brands to break through.

More Media Channels Makes for Better Memories

Consumers may not be surprised to know they remember new product launches better when they receive information about that product from multiple channels. The more the merrier—truly.

  • 22% of consumers recall a new product launch from one key source of information
  • 36% recall a launch from three sources of information
  • 59% recall a launch from more than six sources of information

The jump in new product recognition is significant, and is due to companies presenting a broad mix of media: television, radio, print, Facebook, Twitter. This finding argues strongly in favor of integrated marketing. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with data on a variety of devices; companies must actively deliver their own product messages through these same channels to be heard.

Of course, the type of message matters too.

Emotion, Memory and Intent are Implicitly Tied

We know emotions directly impact consumer behavior. Smart marketers hope to construct a subtext in their materials that reinforces brand values, thereby tapping into the target audience’s motivational emotions. We also know that emotional reactions are fundamental to strengthening memory and recall. That means new products vying for consumer attention can enhance their memorability with an emotional hook.

Indeed, the data from this year’s study reveals a significant correlation between the strength of positive emotional associations with a product, and consumers’ ability to recall that product’s launch.

Take Coca-Cola Life for example. Implicit association testing for the launch of Coke’s lower-calorie cola is particularly revealing.

Strength of Implicit Positive Emotional Association by Coke Life Launch Recall (p = .061)

most-memorable-new-product-launch-2016-coke-life

The new product launch campaign activated consumers’ emotions about Coca-Cola and therefore made a lasting impact and built stronger recall.

In some cases we also see a strong relationship between emotional connection with products and purchase behavior. One example is the new Apple Watch: consumers who purchased an Apple Watch had significantly stronger positive emotional associations with the product compared to consumers who were aware of it, but did not purchase an Apple Watch.

Strength of Implicit Positive Emotional Association Among Consumers Aware of Apple Watch (N = 350)

most-memorable-new-product-launch-2016-apple-watch

Findings like these again point to the importance of new products establishing a positive emotional connection with their target consumers, not only to strengthen memory but also to enhance the likelihood of purchase.

For more information and to see additional results, please download the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey or contact us directly.





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