Trying new products is one of the great joys in life for marketing people like us. There’s a running joke in this house that we’ll buy anything with the word “NEW”, especially if we have a coupon. That bright orange or yellow circle – it’s called a burst – is incredibly tempting. Like full trick-or-trick pail tempting.
Beyond the shiny allure, new products can also yield some awesome deals for couponers.
Marketers will do whatever they can to get you to try a new product. A successful new packaged goods brand can be worth millions in future profits. Think about how P&G has done with Febreeze. The odor killing product did not exist before 1998. Now sales are over $1 billion a year. A billion created out of thin air, or should we say thick air!
In those early days with Febreeze, P&G was not trying to make money. They were trying to get you to try the product, with little concern over what price you paid. High value coupons, Try Me Free rebates, and in-store giveaways ruled. The strategy is called “Investment Spending”. Spend heavily now, build a brand, make money later.
So how does this work to couponers’ advantage? When you see a new product, you should start to drool. Well not literally, but understand that I am surrounded by drooling dogs all day. Lukie drinks like Robert Hays in Airplane, sometimes leaving a 10’ trail from his water bowl.
The standard marketing playbook says that new products will be followed by aggressive coupons. When you see that colorful burst on your store’s shelves, be patient, don’t buy immediately. Usually they wait a few weeks to make sure that the new product is “cut in” everywhere, ie in the stores, then the coupon barrage will begin. Remember the aggressive coupons for French’s Flavor Injectors, Campbell’s Go Soups, and now Kraft Recipe Makers?
Coupon values are the highest during the weeks surrounding the launch of the product. It’s a time when you can score free products quite easily. Even if you are just learning to coupon, this strategy is great for beginning to extreme couponers. If you like the product, stock up early, because those coupon values will decrease over time. If Recipe Makers proves to be a successful brand, then by this time next year you’ll be lucky to find $0.25 coupons, as opposed to the $1 and some $2 coupons around this week.
There’s another aspect of “Product Life Cycle Marketing” that can be beneficial to couponers. Depending on whose numbers you believe, more new products fail than are successes. A recent article in highly-respected Forbes magazine said that new product failure rate was 85% to 95%. What this means for couponers is a never ending supply of failed products on the clearance rack. Those $2 launch coupons will be even tastier when the product is marked at close-out prices!
Use these tips, and you too will start to love new products as much as we do!