Turning a new product into a success can be a challenging task even for the most high-profile brands. The results of a global study conducted by Nielsen indicate that the best way of driving product awareness is through the adoption of a mixed media approach.

Nielsen polled over 29,000 Internet users from 58 countries for its New Product Purchase Sentiment survey. The market research company examined 21 methods brands use to reach shoppers on various media and advertising platforms, concluding that the most potent mixture for driving new product awareness contains word-of-mouth recommendations, traditional advertising initiatives and Internet activities.

Word-of-mouth emerged as the strongest ingredient in the mix, with 77% citing recommendations from friends and family members as their most trusted source of information. The power of traditional advertising was underscored by the fact that 72% said that they had learned about a new product through an in-store discovery. Freebies were also revealed as a strong awareness driver with a score of 70%. For 67% of respondents, active Internet searches were a major information source, while TV advertising and print ads were listed by 59% and 54% respectively.

Rob Wengel, senior VP of Nielsen Innovation Analytics, noted there was no universal formula for the successful development and promotion of a new product. A market-ready product that addresses unmet needs has every chance of success but brands must also make sure that consumers get timely and sufficient information about this product. Given the multitude of channels available nowadays, a carefully balanced mixture of media and advertising platforms is the best way of driving awareness, Wengel said.

Ben Hollom

February 15, 2013