4 Steps to Making Your Products Succeed

4 Steps to Making Your Products Succeed

Customer preferences a subject to constant change. That is something that companies in all industries have to deal with. With new trends coming up and new products hitting the market all the time, it’s hard to keep up.

At the same time, manufacturers need to deliver products customers want to buy – and in a market where competition gets tougher every day, misjudging customer preferences is simply not an option. This is where social analytics come in.

One industry that maybe feels the pressure even more than others is the food industry – after all, everyone needs to eat! That’s why we chose the food industry as an example for our latest how-to guide on social listening for product development.

We analyzed millions of customer conversations online and on social media to give you 4 magic steps to creating new products your customers will want to buy!

1. Deliver products customers really want to buy

We all love trying new products or new flavours of our favourite snacks or candies. A new type of chocolate, an exotic new flavour of a beloved chips brand can make our entire day. But of course, preferences and tastes vary be region. Asia, for example, is known for a multitude of flavour combinations that seem weird for European taste buds.

Food manufacturers can benefit from knowing such information to evaluate the market potential and forecast demand for new flavours and products they are creating.

world map fruits

Between July and August, lemon was one of the most popular fruit flavours in Southern Europe.

Constant monitoring of customers’ taste preferences allows food companies to offer exactly what people want – around the globe. Tying insights from social data in with market research and product development helps them save time and money by significantly shortening the research & development process.

2. Develop successful products based on new trends

The way we eat changes constantly, with new trends appearing almost daily. These changes are a great opportunity for food manufacturers to address a new audience with niche products that meet specific dietary requirements or limitations. Among the latest trends, we saw the paleo diet being extensively discussed online, in combination with terms like #glutenfree or #vegan.

2015-08-19 08_59_54-paleo mentions by us state - Excel

Broken down by population, Massachusetts was the state with most paleo mentions

Social listening helps food manufacturers to identify such new trends early on, giving them a chance to react before their competitors do. By doing so food manufacturers can boost sales and maximize revenue. One example we found: Kellogg’s sales figures improved, among others, after introducing a gluten-free version of one of their cereals.

3. Create winning product portfolios

Every food company dreams of having a brand portfolio like Coca-Cola’s – brands that recognized universally and sell – no matter what. Creating such a portfolio is sure-fire way to increased brand visibility and growing sales figures.

In order to create such a portfolio, constant optimization of existing brands is key – support the winning brands, improve those with low performances or get rid of them altogether.

general mills brand overview

While Nature Valley enjoyed most attention among General Mills' brands, Yoplait showed the most positive sentiment.

Social listening enables food manufacturers to constantly monitor their product portfolio - measure the volume of mentions for each brand as well as analysing sentiment for them.

4. Research competition

Competition is tough in the food industry, which makes it all the more important for companies to keep track of their competitors. Monitoring and benchmarking levels of buzz, reach and engagement for online activities and sentiment gives companies a clear idea of their products’ position in comparison to others in the industry.

Competitive Intelligence Talkwalker IQ App

While Ben & Jerry’s ice cream did win more attention overall between July and August, Häagen-Dazs received more mentions on selected days.

An industry-wide overview also helps companies to pinpoint areas – e.g. product or marketing strategies – that need some improvements while also giving them a chance to discover best practices or innovative ideas.

With effective social media monitoring and analytics, companies can identify new trends in nutrition early on and adapt their strategies accordingly. Social listening enables them to make the best decisions for their product development and marketing strategies to ensure continued success for their products. To learn more about how to use social listening for your product development, read our full guide here on the Talkwalker Academy.