We love talking about Innovation. So much so, we’ve created a blog area where you can find out more about our thoughts on innovation.

Speciality and Fine Foods Fair Presentation: How To Know If You Have A Winning Product?

12 Tips To Know If You Have A Winning Product

How to know if you have a winning product?

Today we presented at the Speciality and Fine Foods Fair at Olympia on the above topic.

As promised, here is the presentation on our Innovation tips and the links we showed today. Below are the main points we raised during our presentation.

Innovation Tip 1 – You Will Probably Fail, So Evolve.

According to Harvard, roughly 83% of all new ventures fail. This means you should ensure your business plan allows for time, energy & investment  to attempt multiple times until you find the winning combination.

We strong recommend reading The Lean Startup, which goes into more detail about how to develop your product without risking all of your investment, energy & time.

Innovation Tip 2 – Understand The Needs, Wants Or Beliefs Of Your Consumers

Seek to understand the deep & penetrating insights that motivate your consumers. Seek to understand their thoughts and their feelings. Look to move beyond their opinions, and understand their behaviour. Judge them by the Dilbert Test, not by if they say they like it.

Innovation Tip 3 – Simple Marketing Idea

Look to have a simple, straightforward marketing idea. Find a simple and easy to communicate point of difference versus the competition. Your marketing idea needs to be able to work personally, in building your word of mouth, and also in other media, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Innovation Tip 4 – Leverage Credibility

Build your product’s credentials through working with influential and credible third parties, such as food bloggers. Build relationships with them, highlighting how to use your product, recipe ideas and the background to your product. Use the power of your simple marketing idea to cut through with the bloggers.

Inkybee is a great tool to help you find, manage and track your influencers and bloggers. It has a free 15 day trial period and we have negotiated a 34% discount for all visitors from the Visit and quote “Speciality & Fine Foods” to receive a $40 discount, from $79 to $39.

Innovation Tip 5 – Make It Easy To Buy

Ensure you have  impeccable customer service. Don’t segment your audience – it’s a waste of time, especially for smaller producers, just treat all consumers as the same. Ensure your product is attractive, utilising semiotics and clearly communicates your functional benefit (it must pass the Ronseal test) . Invest in high quality designers – included were three examples from Pearlfisher (contact

Darren Foley
for more information). Make it available – one client we have, increased their availability by 1% and saw sales increase by 10%. Ensure your product has a clear reason to belief and you back up that reason to believe with credibility like awards and medals, e.g. fine food awards. A great book to find out more on this is How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know

Innovation Tip 6 – Build Trial

Food & drink products require high levels of trial, usually through sampling. Keep your sampling simple and look for opportunities to make your sampling efficient, for example with large groups of people.

Innovation Tip 7 – Balance Benefits With Price

Price is determined by the benefits your consumers place on it versus the competition. If you have more perceived benefits versus your competition, consumers will expect to pay a higher price versus your competition. If the price is the same or cheaper you would expect, all things being equal, for the volume of sales in your product to be higher versus the competition. Setting the right price can be a big challenge.

Innovation Tip 8 – Choose Your Customers

Multiple Grocers are not the only way to sell your product in the UK, and in many ways may not be the best place to launch your new product. One of the reasons why Multiple Grocers are the wrong place is that people shop in supermarkets generally with a list, either one written down or one in their head. They go on a shopping mission, and minimise their time in store. They don’t engage with entire categories never mind specific products. If a shopper spent 30 seconds looking at every product in a Supermarket, it would take over 11 hours, and nobody takes 11 hours to shop. So look for customers where consumers ill be able to indulge the time to get to know and trial your product.

Innovation Tip 9 – Develop A Compelling Pitch

Once you’ve selected the right customer, you want to develop a compelling pitch, and that involves being able to show them at least one of three commercial benefits. The first is to show them a way to generate more sales – e.g. your product has a higher price and will outsell existing products in the category. The second is to show them a way to reduce their costs – e.g. your product will be delivered direct to the stores, reducing the stock levels the customers needs to hold in their depot. The third benefits is a way to solve complex problems – e.g. new regulations are coming into force in December 2014 about food labelling and we have developed a range of products that complies with these new regulations.

Innovation Tip 10 – Consolidate Before Growing

Research indicates that if you lose distribution, you are unlikely to regain it, and even if you do it is significantly more difficult to regain the distribution. Rather than risk losing distribution, it is better to ensure you grow rate of sales (sales per outlet) in existing distirbution before seeking to risk additional distribution.

Innovation Tip 11 – Success Takes Time

New products take time to develop and to become an overnight success. Spirits take on average 20 years to become mainstream. Look

Innovation Tip 12 – Build Realistic Business Model

Build a business model that takes into account all of the above and shows a true understanding of your business and drivers of your product.


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