Align the Concept with Your Marketing Plan

A concept should provide consumers with the same information that will be available to them once the product is in market. For example, do you have a small package with little space to communicate? Do you have a very limited advertising budget? Are you launching a truly disruptive product whose benefits may require more explanation to persuade consumers? Design your concept realistically by acknowledging potential communication challenges and giving advance consideration to what kind of marketing support you will provide.

For those initiatives with limited marketing support, communicating your competitive advantage can prove particularly challenging. A recent Nielsen study comparing the performance of product concepts with advertising support to those without it found that supported concepts were twice as likely to succeed in testing on the dimension of competitive advantage.* For initiatives lacking support, inherent advantages (e.g., “multi-tasking moisturizer” or “all-purpose cleaner”) and distinctive flavors or ingredients can help drive differentiation without requiring much explanation.

Even when initiatives are well supported, including more information in a concept isn’t always better. Consumers can get lost in the clutter and fail to zero in on the most compelling aspects of your proposition. This can not only affect performance of communication dimensions, but also drag down overall purchase intent.

Source: Factors for Success database. In testing, “concepts with advertising support” provided the same amount of information as would be communicated by the package and advertising, while those “concepts without advertising support” provided only information that would be found on the package.

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