The launch of Overhang, a premium beverage aimed at easing the symptoms of a hangover got us thinking about some of the tests we would put the ultimate hangover cure through. We often find that potentially breakthrough products can easily go wrong if initial ideas with high potential don’t go through the rigour of optimisation.
So using the idea of an ultimate hangover cure we have put it through our 10 Point Optimisation Test. By asking yourself what are all the possibilities for each of the 10 points, you will open up your mind to what could be. This will ensure that any initial idea is truly probed for its weaknesses and maximised to its full potential. In the interest of brevity, we have just used a couple of examples for each. In reality there could be 5 – 50 probes per point.
The 10 Point Test
1. Size – is it about little sips or being gluggable, something consumed in one go or resealable, shared or personal?
2. Product Format – is it even a drink or could a supplement to be added to water be better?
3. Usage Rituals – does it need to be dissolvable and hang on to the rituals and category language bedded in by long standing cures like Alka Seltzer (see some possibilities in the image below) or is there benefit to creating a new ritual?
4. Ingredients – which ingredient is shorthand to credibility with consumers? Glucose, caffeine, ginger, milk thistle, B vitamins etc. Should we talk explicitly about the ingredients or be more secretive and mysterious about the overall recipe?
5. Type of Delivery – sports cap or wide mouth and if speed of recovery is key then how about a sublingual mouth spray (under the tongue) or a suppository, the two fastest ways to enter the human system!
6. Consumption Experience – is it a nutrient-rich shake or a more refreshing/hydrating water? Is it essential to taste good or does a bad taste deliver more credibility? Is fizz helpful for refreshment or annoying with a hangover?
7. Naming – should the name be mainly descriptive like Overhang or more benefit-led like “Revital” or “Back2u”
8. Positioning – Is it acceptable to talk explicitly about being a hangover cure or does this make public consumption of it a bit socially unacceptable and if so how do you overcome that? Do you target broader usage occasions e.g. “over indulgence”? Or more specific benefits e.g. “dehydration, fatigue, pain”?
9. Distribution – Is McDonalds a key hangover destination? Retail outlets near places of employment and commuter hubs? Late opening takeaways, thus preparing the consumer for the next day?
10. Range – would one flavour be too limiting or polarising? Do you need different strengths for levels of hangover pain?
With Christmas looming there’s no doubt that Overhang is a great idea, but we can’t help wondering whether it has been optimised for success. We know that 70% of innovations fail, and we believe that is because product concepts are loaded with dangerous assumptions. Sometimes concepts are way off what the consumer needs to solve their problem – but often a few small tweaks is all it takes to get a concept from “make do” to “breakthrough”.