The Path to Agile Innovation in a CPG World

The Path to Agile Innovation in a CPG World

An Agile Research Plan to Reduce Risk and Maximize Reward

Today’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers are under immense pressure to bring products to market faster in order to capitalize on emerging trends and defend against smaller players, among many other reasons. As a result, many marketers are looking to borrow agile innovation techniques developed in the tech world and apply them to CPG. But Nielsen research has found that lifting an approach that works quite well for many technology companies may have less successful outcomes in CPG.

Nevertheless, it’s imperative for manufacturers to respond to market pressures for more agile innovation processes. And the main premise of an agile process—that is, to identify a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to work with and iterate—can be a pathway to success for CPG brands. However, it is also crucial to realize that truly agile innovation doesn’t mean skipping steps.

So how should marketers approach agile market research to find the right answers to the right questions at the right time? Research from BASES, Nielsen’s innovation practice, has found it means adapting the agile development steps of design, requirements, implementation and verification to the development realities of CPG, while testing and iterating at the right stages for CPG products (which are not equal to those for software).