When a new product pops up on a store shelf for the first time, consumers don’t realize the time, cost, and challenges the company incurred to get it there.
From product development and testing to manufacturing and packaging, there’s a lot that goes into the creation of a new product. What’s more, the companies don’t see the ROI on their work until their new products are available for purchase.
One way that consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are remaining competitive is by reducing the time it takes to get products to market. Finding a faster route from concept to store shelf is helping CPG companies capture market share, remain relevant in their industry, and turn a profit by shrinking the product development cycle. This is even more critical given the rise of Direct to Consumer (D2C) brands that have started to erode the market share of existing CPGs.
To do this, CPG companies are beginning to favor strategic systems like Specification Data Management™ (SDM™) that can drive efficiency at scale and speed up time to market without sacrificing quality.
Building a Product Development Strategy with SDM
CPG companies experience a number of challenges when trying to improve speed to market. To become successful, they must:
- Develop the right product.
- Price the product attractively.
- Market the product via the right channels to the right audience.
- Create the right promotion.
- Promote the product at the right time.
It’s a process that can take many months or years per product and each component can impact the average time to market. With product development cycles increasingly measured by weeks and even days, existing systems used by large companies are falling short when it comes to rapid iteration and cross-company collaboration.
To compete, companies are turning to their existing data to help streamline the process and remain competitive in the industry. Specification Data Management™ (SDM™) is the foundation upon which companies can build a 360-degree live view of their products, from initial development through the entire product lifecycle. This robust dataset of product and packaging specifications can help companies create competitive barriers, reduce costs, and deliver on marketing promises at scale.
Create Competitive Barriers
Leveraging the right data can help a company maintain its leading edge by making it harder for competitors to enter the market. For CPGs, this comes in the form of utilizing big data gathered over years or decades of experience in both developing products and engaging with loyal customers.
Leveraging this combination of both consumer and product data packs a one-two punch. While consumer data can be used to drive insights into new offerings, CPG companies can use specification data to quickly iterate existing products - and all relevant information on how to make that product with their existing supply chain- to quickly bring it to market. For example, adding another flavor or fragrance to an existing product line is as easy as cloning an existing bill of materials and adjusting a few ingredients and formulas instead of starting from scratch.
Reduce Operating Costs
Specification Data Management can also help keep operating costs low by streamlining communication, identifying waste, and monitoring spending. When companies understand material usage across product lines or brands, they can better purchase raw materials and increase their margins or pass savings on to customers through lower prices.
By cutting operating costs, companies can competitively price their products to increase market share and earn customer loyalty. This is extremely critical in the eCommerce era, as brands try to remain profitable while balancing product pricing with free shipping offers.
Improve Marketing Efforts
Companies that are in tune with their audience and products are better able to leverage this data to drive their marketing efforts. They can spend less time on guesswork and more time on adding value to their marketing strategy (e.g. identifying target segments, or monitoring product sales).
As personalization and hyper-segmentation continue to increase, marketing teams that can manage the complexity of additional SKUs (and everything associated with new SKUs, such as artwork and labels) will be able to take advantage of new markets more quickly.
Specification Data Management Creates Efficiency at Scale
To remain competitive, CPG brands must translate their focus and expertise managing consumer data and insights to products and packaging. By using SDM software as the foundation and single source of truth for all packaging and product data, brands can accelerate communication and prevent critical information from falling through the cracks.
Learn how Kira Labs uses SDM to increase their speed to market in this case study. Then, download our ebook to learn more about Specification Data Management and how it can transform the way you manage your business.