Project Description

Case Study: Finding the Sweet Spot (Confectionery Market Strategy)

The ProblemConfectionery Market Strategy

The product development team at a consumer products company experimented with creating an edible “gummy” vitamin product based on a line of gummy products marketed by the company’s confectionery division. As a result of resurgent consumer interest in gummy candies, the product became an unexpected success, and the team realized that their gummy product intellectual property had applications far beyond confections.

After extensive brainstorming, the company identified several dozen such potential applications. Unfortunately, many of these applications involved product categories and industries (pharmaceuticals, for example) in which the team had little prior expertise. Before investing heavily in entering these new categories, the team need to evaluate the market and growth potential of the available options and narrow the field to a handful worth pursuing further. They considered assembling a panel of experts from the industries involved for a symposium at their headquarters, but the costs and logistical challenges involved proved insurmountable.

Critical Issues

Cross-Industry Expertise        Logistical Challenges          Budget

The Solution

Maven recommended conducting a Virtual Ideation Panel as a simpler and more cost-effective alternative to assembling a symposium. Virtual Ideation Panel provide a way to engage a diverse group of experts in meaningful, professionally-facilitated dialogue without the challenges associated with in-person meetings. Furthermore, because Ideation Panel span several days with each participant contributing new insights each day, the discussion naturally evolves in ways that are not usually possible in a concentrated single-day event.

Within days, Maven delivered 15 marketing, product development, and regulatory professionals from a variety of industries representing the expertise required to evaluate the market opportunities the team had brainstormed. Over the course of the four-day interactive session the participants weighed in on relevant issues related to entering the markets in question and rated each application for feasibility and market potential. In addition to narrowing the field of potential product candidates to the three with the strongest potential for success, the experts also identified another new application that would require relatively little effort for the company to develop and bring to market, representing an immediate opportunity for category growth.

The wealth of information and recommendations provided by the Ideation Panel participants have allowed the company to focus its future product development efforts on the specific projects with the greatest market potential in order to take advantage of a burgeoning consumer trend.

“I am amazed by the depth of knowledge and insights we pulled out in a short amount of time. For a fraction of the cost and effort of assembling a group at our headquarters we managed to develop deeper insights from better-qualified people without anyone ever needing to leave home!” – Director of Global Category Management