The brands that innovate at speed and with more frequency will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis fastest, according to new research.

Covid- 19 crisis: ‘innovators will bounce back fastest’

Kantar’s Europanel research from the 2008-2011 recession shows winning brands launched 60% more innovations than brands who lost share ‘at the shelf’ over this period.

Additionally, Kantar BrandZ data shows the stock price of the top 20 most innovative brands grew at almost twice the rate of the S&P 500 after the 2008 economic crisis.

As we look to the post-pandemic recovery, the need for innovation has never been more relevant. Kantar’s most recent Covid19 Barometer shows people’s behaviours, attitudes and beliefs are evolving as the new rhythms of life transform the way people engage with and use products and services. People have started to like their lockdown habits. More than half (52%) believe they will maintain lockdown behaviours post-pandemic. Increased hygiene, healthier eating, spending time with the family and personal development are most likely to be maintained. New innovations need to anticipate and meet these evolving needs and changing lifestyles.

To help brands accelerate their innovation cycles and speed to market, Kantar today begins the rollout of a new suite of Innovation and Product Development solutions on Kantar Marketplace, the automated research platform for marketers who want to test, learn and move faster. First to launch are automated concept and pack testing solutions, Concept eValuate and Pack eValuate, followed soon by an automated idea screening solution, Idea eValuate.

The eValuate suite puts consumer knowledge at the heart of the innovation journey and includes:

• Idea eValuate: Shortlist ideas with the most potential. Idea eValuate shows how to improve the best ideas and get them ready for concept development by measuring implicit and explicit responses to get closer to the reality of purchase behaviour.
• Concept eValuate: Identify concepts with most potential and show how to optimise them to maximise growth. With an extensive benchmarking database of over 100,000 concepts and predictive measures, Concept eValuate is proven to improve innovation success rates by 50%, and offers results in as few as 24 hours.
• Pack eValuate: Packaging is increasingly important with today’s ever-increasing array of products and formats in store and online. Pack eValuate helps identify winning designs and optimise packaging quickly.
• Product eValuate: Test products quickly in a real home environment to maximise the product and launch potential. Product eValuate utilises Home Tester Club’s 2.4 million testers to test products in a real-life context at the moment of usage. Get quality feedback from engaged consumers, supported by video experiences and user ratings.

Discussing the launch of the eValuate suite on Kantar Marketplace, Will Galgey, CEO Kantar Marketplace said “As we look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been more important to identify the ideas that will transform your business and develop them quickly. As manufacturers race to discover the impact of new behaviours on their portfolio, they need to understand the underlying consumer motivations and aspirations and create relevant and appealing solutions. And this needs to happen at pace! Speed to market with the right value proposition, that is meaningfully different, will determine success in challenging times. Great innovation now will accelerate recovery from the post-pandemic economic crisis, and equally importantly, strengthen the brand to grow faster over the long term. Seventy of the Fortune 100 already use Kantar’s innovation expertise; this new suite of tools on Kantar Marketplace is a great new capability for those companies and other innovators.”

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