Written by Steve Lambert, content manager at Templemere PR
In an age where news and information is so easily accessible to so many people, standing out from the crowd and offering consumers something truly new and innovative is becoming an increasingly difficult task for businesses.
This topic was the main thrust of a webinar I recently took part in with a well-known global health body, which looked into the future of innovation in the consumer healthcare market.
During the session, healthcare experts discussed how the OTC medicine industry is reacting to growing consumer demand for innovative products to help them better monitor and manage their overall health.
What was of particular interest was how our definition of innovation has changed significantly over the past decade. Previously, line extensions on existing OTC products – such as new flavours and reformulations – would have been considered ‘innovative’. However, research into today’s consumer shows they are better-informed, less brand-loyal and regularly looking for products that offer them real, tangible benefits.
These trends are not just limited to consumer healthcare. It’s the same scenario in the FMCG industry, where 40% of food & beverages and 25% of non-food pacesetters launched in 2017 were entirely new brands.
While some consumer healthcare firms have found it challenging to bring true innovation to the market, those that had found success had been the ones that had adapted their business strategy based on direct feedback from their customers.
This for me presented an important lesson that all companies can learn from. Sticking to well-worn strategies will only get you so far with today’s clued-up customers. However, maintaining stronger ties with them and using their insight to make positive business changes will help you develop new products and services that will resonate more closely with these customers. This means you’ll be offering them something they actually want, rather than something you think they want.