A Great New Innovation That No One Will Understand

Is it a chewing gum? Or a mint? My guess is your mind is pretty much made up – and therein lies the problem of this fab new product innovation from Hershey…

Ice Breakers’ Cool Blasts Chews is actually a hybrid mint/ chewing gum. It’s touted as behaving like a chewing gum for the first few chews but slowly dissolves to avoid tricky disposal issues; hanging around looking naff and losing taste.

So it clearly answers some consumer needs for lovers of chewing gum, and with gum on the decline in favour of mints in the USA; it appears to have truly found an innovative market gap.

Yet there are no clues to the innovation’s product proposition (what the product is or does) on the packaging at all. Hershey’s are leaving themselves wide open for a challenger brand to enter the market and get this right. At the very minimum sales are likely to be lower then predicted.

And this is likely to result in the commissioning of the fundamental innovation research that should have been undertaken in the initial concept development – how to communicate the idea. Any innovation agency will tell you that being able to communicate a new innovation idea is more fundamental to an innovation’s success than anything else.

It’s a mistake that businesses make time and time again. They heavily invest in a great new innovation and then don’t spend the time getting the fundamentals right – working out how to explain it to the consumer so they instantly get it…

Published 2nd June 2014 by Natalie Reed @ the Strategy Distillery