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Consumer needs and priorities are always evolving and paving the way for new innovations to achieve success. Let’s celebrate and learn from recent innovations that got it right and take those lessons to uncover new opportunities amidst the COVID-19 impacted landscape and the emerging new normal. These are the standout innovations that achieved critical success to become a 2020 BASES Top 25 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation.

2020 BASES Top 25 Breakthrough - U.S.

Three key actions contributed to the success of many 2020 BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations:

  • 1. DISCOVER

  • 2. BREAK THE MOLD
  • 3. ACT  

Discover

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR BRAND TO BREAK THROUGH

While incrementality and differentiation are key to breaking onto the shelf, many launches aren’t incremental: ~25% of new products actually shrink total brand sales. But, a successfully-executed extension can drive growth, and there are multiple avenues to growth.

Premiumization, moving into new channels and/or categories, removing category barriers, and expanding your brand into new use cases are all ways to increase consumption, penetration, and basket dollars, and ultimately, generate growth. Several of this year’s BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations were able to successfully grow their brand by expanding into a new usage occasion. They employed various tactics to differentiate the innovation from the parent brand product and cue the new occasion, while still maintaining core aspects of brand equity. 

POP-TARTS® BITES EXPANDS BRAND INTO ON-THE-GO OCCASION

For Pop-Tarts® Bites, it took several iterations and new technology to get the right bite for on-the-go usage. The team remained committed to perfecting the product throughout the development process to ensure it would encourage out-of-home consumption and maintain the core foundation of a Pop-Tart®.

Even the best ideas and most compelling extensions will struggle to achieve success without a strong performing product. BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations don’t cut corners when it comes to delivering exceptional product experiences. 

Break the Mold

BRINGING YOUR INNOVATION TO LIFE

Traditional research and awareness-driving tools continue to be the foundation for learning and activation. This year’s BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations also employed new-to-the-brand activation tactics that were customized to the innovation and its audience. 

KETEL ONE BOTANICAL PROMOTES IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

Ketel One, a brand that hadn’t previously been strongly associated with wellness, went outside its norm to win advocacy in the space with the launch of Ketel One Botanical. The new beverage was promoted at yoga events, fun runs, and wine festivals to reach the mindful consumer & strengthen ties with wellness. While traditional techniques such as TV ads have also been employed, digital and live events have been the focus.

OREO RAMPS UP ITS ‘WOW’ FACTOR THROUGH PACK DESIGN

For “Game of Thrones” OREO, Mondel─ôz International, with the help of their ad agency, departed from the standard blue OREO packaging to create a pack with ‘wow’ factor. The ad agency had never designed a package before and OREO had never launched packaging beyond its core blue design. Stepping out of the box led to huge outcomes for this short-term launch.

Act

INTENTIONALLY WITH THE RIGHT TIMELINES & SUPPORT

The pace of business is accelerating, but speedy decision-making alone does not yield success. Marketers must balance speed with fully delivering on the consumer insight. Across the BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations, many teams made decisions to prioritize doing right by the innovation over delivering on speed alone. In many cases, ironically, these decisions enabled speed as well. 

BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations also had clear strategies to get team commitment and leadership support, and to generate both internal and retailer excitement, further enabling and driving success of the launches.

BUILD TEAM COMMITMENT & EXCITEMENT

Select team members that are passionate about the opportunity space and empower them to make decisions that keep the consumer insight front and center.

GAIN LEADERSHIP SUPPORT

Show leadership the money and bring them in early. Prove the initiative is worthy of support by presenting the opportunity space and sizing the prize.

GENERATE RETAILER EXCITEMENT

Demonstrate to the retailer not only that your innovation can be big, but that you will make it big. Tailored support and spend can help here, but it’s not the only lever. 

LOVE BEAUTY AND PLANET SELECTS A PASSIONATE TEAM

"In selecting a team, it was important that we got people who were passionate about this space and keen on doing something meaningful for the planet.  We had tough choices to make but because the north star of the project and the team members were so clear it allowed us to make decisions and move forward."

 

Piyush Jain, Global Vice President, Unilever 

FINDING THE NEXT BREAKTHROUGH

Perhaps surprisingly, we have seen a strong number of innovation items launching this year, despite unprecedented obstacles like supply chain challenges and stay at home orders. While there was a dip in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, innovation is bouncing back as we move into a new normal. In fact, innovators know the importance of developing strong new products, particularly in challenging times, as evaluating innovations with BASES has increased during the pandemic. 
Perhaps surprisingly, we have seen a strong number of innovation items launching this year, despite unprecedented obstacles like supply chain challenges and stay at home orders. While there was a dip in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, innovation is bouncing back as we move into a new normal. In fact, innovators know the importance of developing strong new products, particularly in challenging times, as evaluating innovations with BASES has increased during the pandemic. 

WANT TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN BE ONE OF THE NEXT BASES TOP 25 BREAKTHROUGH INNOVATIONS?

To dive deeper on this year’s findings, or to dig into the next big thing in innovation (see below), contact your BASES team. Your BASES team will be able to share more about what the BASES Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations got right, how we can all apply their learnings, and what you need to do to stay two steps ahead of the competition.    

COVID-19 & THE
NEW NORMAL
EVOLUTION OF NATURAL
& PLANT-BASED
THE RISE
OF CANNABIS

TAKE A LOOK
AT PAST WINNERS

Click on the images below to view past Breakthrough Innovation Winners.

 

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