Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

You don’t need to open big to be big

In Insight on November 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Writing yesterday for MediaPost’s Marketing Daily newletter, Karl Greenberg cited a survey by Chicago-based consultancy Mintel that noted only one brand had a truly memorable launch in 2008, according to the firm’s just completed Seventh Annual Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, conducted by Schneider Associates. The online survey, conducted in September, tapped 1,000 respondents ages 18 and over. That new product was the Wii Fit.

A franchise that bites

A franchise that bites

The story goes on to say, “This was a terrible year for brand-building. Terrible. Rising food and gasoline prices, unemployment, the mortgage meltdown, and the political campaigns took up most of the room in consumers’ cognitions. A full 69% of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launched this year, per Mintel. Only 22% of respondents remembered the most memorable new product of 2008, the Wii Fit.”

A terrible year for brand building? Tell that to the folks over at Twitter who saw the following Year-on-Year user increase:

Sept. 2007: 533,000 users

Sept. 2008: 2.3 million users

*Source Nielsen Online

A terrible year for brand building? Tell that to the people behind the Twilight book/movie franchise. The movie opens today in fact, and the buzz has been tremendous.

Are Twitter and Twilight “new” brands for 2008? No, but that’s my point. You don’t have to be the most memorable launch to win the race. The Schneider and Associates list from 2006 includes such things as TaB Energy, Thomas’ Sqaure Bagels and M&Ms White Chocolate Candies. I’ll take Twitter, thanks.

A big, memorable launch isn’t a negative, but it’s not the be all, end all either. Twitter and Twilight have succeeded because they built loyal followings and grew from the ground up.

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