Recession "Crunches" New Product Awareness
Nov 21, 2008
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Advertisers and brand managers have new challenges to face as Americans are less aware of new product launches than ever before, according to the Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey (MMNPL), by Schneider Associates, Mintel International, and IRI.

When asked about new products from 2008, 69% of survey respondents could not remember a single new product launched during the year. Even the most memorable new product of 2008—the Wii Fit—was recalled by only 22% of respondents in aided recall. Rising food and gas prices, fear of economic recession, and attention-grabbing political campaigns are all to blame, the report said.

"2008 was a year of distractions, with the average American’s attention pulled in many different directions simultaneously,” comments Lynn Dornblaser, director of Trend Insight at Mintel. “The fervent presidential campaigns and election genuinely excited many voters. But even more, we saw people deeply impacted by the financial crisis. From higher food prices to unemployment to housing scares, economic struggles seriously affected the way many people lived this year."

Char Partelow, senior vice president, Panel Consulting Group at IRI noted that Americans have cut back on spending, making them inherently less aware of new products. "Because many people can only afford the basics, they’re sticking to what they know, products and services that bring them comfort. We found that 'a trusted brand name’ ranked as the number one quality respondents looked for when buying new products. Many Americans are simply less interested in 'risking it' on a new product."

For the second year in a row, technology products featured prominently on the MMNPL winners list. The Wii Fit and iPod Touch were numbers one and two, respectively, and MacBook Air and Rock Band were represented in the top 10 memorable launches.

1. Nintendo Wii Fit (recalled by 22% of respondents in aided recall*)
2. iPod Touch (16%)
3. Bud Light Lime (15%)
4. McDonald's Southern Style Chicken Biscuit & Sandwich (14%)
5. Kraft Mac & Cheese Crackers (13%)
6. KY Yours + Mine Couples Lubricant (12%)
7. Gatorade G2, Yoplait Fiber One (11%, two-way tie)
8. MacBook Air, Rock Band, Burger King Apple Fries, Neosporin Neo To Go!, Kraft Bagel-fuls (8%, five-way tie)

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