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Driving success with excellent innovations


Nothing beats innovation, especially not in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) industry. Having reduced costs and introduced efficiency programs, companies in this sector are now turning their attention to increasing sales performance through innovations. Given that our study identified the market and organizational factors that drive the success of innovations, FMCG companies can now fully reap the benefits of innovation.

The innovation excellence study analyzed 256 innovations in the FMCG industry to determine their success or failure. The study was jointly conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and GfK. The success of an innovation was determined by measuring the degree to which a manufacturer has increased market share or sales. In addition, 25 standardized interviews were conducted with industry managers (in cooperation with AIM) to gain insights into innovation strategies, organization, processes and the audit procedures of innovative producers.

In brief, five market factors are decisive for an innovation's success:

  • Provide clear benefits – The relevant consumer needs are decisive
  • Think the impossible – Successful new products are usually breakthrough innovations
  • Speed counts – A head start leads to a price premium and high market shares
  • Bring innovation to the consumer – The consumer needs to test the product
  • Choose the right sales channels – Show innovation in decisive sales formats

Three organizational factors are also crucial to ensure the success of innovation:

  • Act quickly – Identifying high-potential projects and efficient processes early on is imperative
  • Overcome barriers – Interdisciplinary teams and external know-how are recommended
  • Be prepared – A well-planned post-launch phase ensures long-term success


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