When to innovate in FMCG and E-commerce?

Updated: Nov 23

When do you decide you want to innovate or just bring some changes in the product or brand that you have currently out in the market?


Is it when you check your reports and analyse that your competitor is way ahead of you?

Or is it when you feel that your product is not doing well enough and need some push in the industry for your brand to stay relevant in the market?


Do you go for Innnovation or Renovation?


Simply said, innovation refers to the introduction of a new variety, subbrand, or benefit, whereas innovation or renovation refers to everything you do that is new in relation to the core company. But it's not so easy, so let's attempt to grasp what each of these terms wants to achieve.


Improvement within a product or Renovation is anything that makes your present promise-

1. It makes the current core benefit, more relevant to your non-buyers to boost trial,

2. Foster brand loyalty to produce either greater frequency of purchase or higher consumption (or both) among your current users.


So the question is, should your brand or product choose Innovation or Renovation?

Let's find out from the following option:





You need to go back and check what exactly is your organisation trying to focus on:

a) Is it to improve your offering or

b) Modify a feature of your product that customers dislike (and which is often the cause of lapses in service)

c) Improve your product's claims through either product enhancement, new testing, or new technology, which enables you to do so without materially altering the product

d) Modify or add benefits to your promise.


Now consider the fact that despite some of these activities may be more appealing to both your users and non-users, your analysis and subsequent actions must be the result of pulling one trigger.


Let's use one as an example.


Imagine a brand of for family nourishment that touts stronger immunity and prevention from disease as a perk which is a thing becoming more common post-COVID-19. The following three factors, in no particular sequence, may prevent non-users from purchasing it today:


1. They dislike or don't trust the brand

2. They believe they don't need to switch brands since they prefer their existing one.

3. They don't accept extra immunity as a reward, whatever the case may be.


Likewise, brand customers purchase it because they:


1. Value immunity, a well-functioning and healthy working body

2. Like the brand, and Trust it.

3. Everyone in the family eats it without complaint, etc.


Returning to the 5 remodelling levers that can be pulled:


a) Adding new features to your product




Like a new flavour, can only increase how much current customers value and utilise it. Since the decision maker in the family hasn't even tested the thing, a non-buyer has rejected the immunity/brand rather than the actual item.


Additionally, a lapsed customer is unlikely to contact you again despite your assurances of a superior offering. Future lapping can be decreased by improving the product.


b) Improve a feature that customers dislike


Such as the product's ability to mix with water without creating lumps; this will encourage repeat business from your present customers. Simply because immunity-boosting nourishment is now simple to mix will not convince a nonuser to start feeding the entire family from small children to elderly parents


c)Improve your product's promises


Your present customers buy from you because they like you, respect your word, and are satisfied with your offering.


Because of your two times greater immunity booster or disease repellant, the decision maker won't start feeding the entire family extra. However, this can convince non-users to start purchasing from your brand.

If they had doubts about your immunity claim's veracity, perhaps this would persuade them to give you a try.


d) Modify or add advantages


For example, you can declare that the brand offers immunity plus protection from harmful diseases plus energy to live more. Since the disease-repellent or energy booster will draw in new users, it'll do more to draw new users than it will increase consumption among present users.


Since you want to make sure that your present customers are not turning you down as a result of the change you are making, you should proceed with utmost caution when updating or revising a promise on a big-base business.


Therefore, one of the two KPIs must be present in all testing for refurbishment.

Win among new product users while preserving parity among existing product users, or win among the product's present users.


Innovation is something that increases the use or consumer base of your brand due to a novel promise or perk. A new idea may follow one of the following paths:


In this scenario, utilize new benefit categories that are similar to or complementary to your primary benefit.

You can start by using various sensitivities, namely flavours, substances, and scents or you can utilize a new usage circumstance, a new target audience, or both.


e) Capitalize on a popular trend



This included capitalizing on seasonality or key current event that affects the consumer's life


f) Create an utterly unique benefit


g) Make current consumer habits or safety simpler through ease.



Let's examine an illustration of each using the brand of family nutrition with Immunity and disease repellent as our guide.


Utilize new benefit segments:


A- The company might provide a new line or variation for, weight loss, improved digestion, or any other benefit important to members of family in that age range.


B- Use various sensors, namely flavours, substances, perfumes, and so on. For example, you might use almonds or chocolate to make flavours that are intriguing.


C- Target a distinct TG/user group by developing a unique range or variation for older generation whose immunity requirements change.


D- Ride on a popular trend/seasonality/current event that is significant in a consumer's life - The monsoon variant or winter variant because the needs for immunity are different.


E- Leverage a new usage occasion - create a different variant for night consumption or when the family has just dinner or post evening when the family is about to go for dinner but there's still some time left.


Create a benefit that has never been offered previously in whole or in part. As an example, I'll use a product that might help people become more resistant to allergies.


F- Convenience makes existing consumer habits/usage simpler - ready-to-drink packets, single-use packs, eliminating the need to measure, etc.


Now let's ask ourselves some difficult questions:


Kin the above given example, should there be innovation or refurbishment? It may be both, according to some. Some argument could be in favour of refurbishment being important because it makes your present benefit more interesting to nonusers and relevant to them, thus breaching the pricing barrier.


Changes in New News - things like packaging, form, shape, and colour- can be both depending on the type of change. Innovation occurs when a product's packaging is altered to make it simpler to use or more practical. However, if the goal is just to try something new, stand out from the crowd, and enhance shelf appeal, that is not remodelling. An example of an invention would be dose control caps on any container, but a new bottle form would be a renovation.


The checks to ensure Innovation



What are the checks that must be in place before starting the voyage of innovation, is the question of when one should innovate. Even if your rivals are out-innovating you, take a close look at yourself, evaluate the points below, and then consider innovation as your growth engine.


Considering, the brand has a sizable enough base of customers, and you are seeking to innovate to spur further growth:


1. The state of your core business: If there is any issue in that paradise, stop everything and try to figure out how to make it better. Unless it is determined that your primary business category and your product offering inside it are doomed and that the only chance to expand is to swiftly create other pillars,


2. Weigh your cash: Here, two things must be examined.


A- Is your primary business adequately capitalised for the time frame you are considering?


B- Determine whether you have the financial resources necessary to make your invention successful in light of your own KPIs. You will need to spend some money before the awareness-to-trial ratios start working their magic and starting to have a snowball effect. You need to have the 'burn money' before you innovate.


Remember, hardly any customer will go seeking your innovation shop to shop. So, you need to consider if you have the confidence, resources, and motivation to support innovations since they require care.


If you possess all three, regardless of whether your innovation is incremental or disruptive, then be a competent marketer and create an innovation that will cause a step shift in your growth curve.



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