The Wall Street Journal reports that ConAgra cut its earnings forecast for 2011, citing “lackluster shopper response to promotions.”
Aside from economic challenges and higher costs for food ingredients, the company found that “consumers are not responding as strongly to promotions as originally forecast, a sentiment shared by other food makers including Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co. and Campbell Soup Co.,” reports the Journal.
The story continues, “In an attempt to move away from discounts, the industry is turning to innovation by adding new products to try to entice consumers to spend more.”
Likewise, Talbots reported lower sales and lowered its earnings forecast for the full year, despite “new promotional activity toward the end of the third quarter” and promotional augmentation in Q4, the outlet reports. Fashion and novelty brands are strong in demand while basics “weren't innovative enough.”
Retail and CPG brands should leverage current product categories to develop new and innovative products, through new ingredients, textiles, or the convergence of popular products from different categories (i.e. accessories and apparel or food and beverage).
Innovation in the PR agency landscape – here the end goal might be new business versus sales – could include Edelman's life sciences practice and Porter Novelli's Jack and Bill fashion pop-up, both leveraging their current client- and talent-base and adhering to market demand.
Every great marketing campaign and message point starts with a compelling story. Today, especially online, there's so much clutter. To break through that clutter and reach consumers, marketers need to start with product branding.
And in today's integrated marketing landscape, who's to say that PR professionals shouldn't be driving product innovation. Let's face it, PR pros understand the value and make-up of a compelling product story better than most.