Tag Archives: Jody McInerney

Accelerate Growth Through the Strategic Integration of Research During the Innovation Process

Accelerate Growth
Through the Strategic Integration of Research During the Innovation Process
Stephanie Cunningham, Associate Director, Global Insights
Business Lead’Specialty Division, The Clorox Company
Jody McInerney, Senior Vice President, Burke, Inc.
Stephanie began with crisis, a story about the kitty litter
business. Competitive pressures were high. Market share was being lost. They
needed a new product, in a hurry. From concept to packaging, they needed it all:
RTB, packaging design, product name, name and product fit with top benefits,
and fully baked complete concepts to test against legacy products and
competitive products.
Clorox had five weeks to cram in eight months of work before
the end of the fiscal year and their plan to retailers.
They had limited time and were forced to explore
non-traditional methods.
They called Burke, Inc. for help, and began the Accelerated
Learning Labs??, a methodology designed to shorten the learning curse and allow
teams to get more done in less time.
Accelerated Learning Labs?? focus efforts into a single-day
or real-time learning.
Steps of framing an Accelerated Learning Lab??
1.    
Gather Participants
2.    
Evaluate
3.    
Choose subgroup
4.    
Explore
5.    
Refine Ideas as a Team
This methodology provided a way for the Fresh Start team to
get the results they needed in their timeframe.
The Fresh Step team pushed back at first at this method.
There was fear of the unknown, no proof that it would work, and questions about
the output. This process requires a high-performing team to execute, so it was
critical to get all of the internal stakeholders to suspend disbelief and
deeply participate in the process.
For each of these client fears, there was a solution. There
was the trust of working with a supplier with whom they’ve had a decade-long
relationship. They set expectations about the level of involvement. They also
engaged creative teams and agency partners from the outset.
In the end, the whole Fresh Step group (Innovation manager,
brand manager, designers, consultant team, and marketing manager) all dove in
as a unified cross-functional team.
Once aligned, the team moved forward with
??     
Three-in-person sessions in one market
??     
Total of 102 participants (34 per session)
??     
1.5 hours of quantitative evaluations
??     
1.5 hours of qualitative probing with small
groups of six-eight.
Understanding the most compelling message’the RTB’was the
prime mover in this scenario. The, we moved into package design that needed to
stand out at shelf. We tested a total of 18 names. Then, took the names and
packaging and tested fit with the benefit (RTB).
Consumers provided ways to improve the benefit, the
look-and-feel, the imagery, and the name. They were invaluable in driving
iteration after iteration that made the product more desirable in the market.
They planned the five-week sprint in weekly segments with
things that had to be completed each week.
So, was it a success? Yes. They met the impossible timeline.
Since launch, Clorox has done more rigorous testing and the product that was
launched has tested very well each time. Plus, the market accepted and embraced
the product.
The ability to learn in the moment, given the tight
timelines, was instrumental to hitting the condensed timeline.
Michael Graber is the
managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic
growth firm based in Memphis, TN. Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.