Why do consumers get excited about some products and not others? It’s not just about awe-inspiring innovation (although that helps), it’s about innovation that meets real needs.
Below we profile 10 new products across a range of sectors that have got shoppers all revved up – and for good reason. These brands have used their understanding of their audiences to develop products that solve problems and enhance lives.
Meanwhile, quality research ensures these products also fit with target customers’ self-image. By feeding into their values and beliefs, they resonate on a deeper level, meaning consumers can take a sense of pride in buying them.
When a product combines innovation with insight, brands can enjoy more press coverage and drive greater consumer engagement. This gives them leverage to charge higher prices and, ultimately, increases their overall brand equity.
Let’s see how these 10 brands have succeeded in creating products we can’t wait to get our hands on…
1. GilletteLabs Heated Razor
Gillette will make the transition from supermarket staple to luxury commodity this year with the launch of its first high end product – a $200 (£155) heated razor. The razor mimics a barbershop treatment by instantly heating up to 122 degrees, warming both soap and skin for an upgraded shave.
The heated razor is the first product from Gillette’s new innovation brand GilletteLabs. In order to validate the idea, the razor was first debuted via an Indiegogo campaign, through which 1,470 were sold. Because that first batch of razors consisted of prototypes, the GilletteLabs team was able to receive feedback on them in order to refine the final product for the larger market.
Now perfected, the razor will be sold at luxury retailer The Art of Shaving in 100 locations across the US, as well as online. Gillette’s play at the luxury market comes at a time when its competitors, such as Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, are disrupting the men’s shaving market by slashing prices.
Donato Diez, Global Brand Manager for GilletteLabs, told Glossy: “Men are looking to elevate all aspects of their lifestyle, not only their grooming routine, and the market is reacting.”
Stephanie Niezgoda, a senior product innovation engineer, added: “Elevating the experiences of the everyday routine is the goal. Other brands care about cost-saving, but bringing our technology and our understanding of the consumer together can add up to a big difference.”
2. Harley-Davidson LiveWire Motorcycle
With its core customer base aging, resulting in year after year of declining sales, Harley-Davidson hopes to target a younger, more urban audience with its first electric motorcycle, the LiveWire.
In an interview with TheStreet, CEO Matt Levatich said: “We continue to see electric vehicles as a tremendous opportunity. These motorcycles are easier to ride than bicycles, they lend themselves to urban environments where our product is maybe less targeted or less suited. They are suited to a generation of people that don’t have the mechanical depth of experience that maybe boomers had with manual transmissions and clutches.”
The LiveWire, which is automatic, meaning no clutch or gear-shifting, is the first in a range of electric models planned by the company. The bike comes with a high price tag, starting at $29,799 (£23,000), but Harley-Davidson intends for it to serve as a halo product, drawing customers in towards its upcoming more affordable electric two-wheelers.
3. Samsonite Eco Collection
Samsonite has launched its first-ever sustainable luggage collection, Eco Collection. The range is made from Recyclex, a material developed by the brand and created from 100% post-consumer recycled PET plastic bottles.
Samsonite plans to launch at least 30 product lines worldwide that are made from recycled materials such as rPET or recycled polypropylene.
Subrata Dutta, President of Samsonite Asia Pacific told Markets Insider the range was introduced in response to growing consumer demand for sustainable travel and lifestyle products. Attest’s own research shows that Millennials, in particular, feel strongly about buying from brands that reflect their stance on social issues.
“Sustainability is a priority that runs through our products, from our hands to consumers,” Dutta said. “We recognise that travellers are increasingly aware of environmental protection and looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
“Samsonite is excited to work towards even more sustainable products while sustaining the passion for making high-quality bags and accessories. We expect to generate stronger awareness of environmental protection in the market, and will continue to seek opportunities to maximise the use of recycled and recyclable materials in our products and packaging.”
4. LG Signature OLED TV R9
The world’s first ever “rollable” television will be made available this year and it’s exciting tech aficionados and interior design lovers alike.
LG’s TV has been designed as the first high quality screen solution that doesn’t interfere with a room’s aesthetics. The innovation follows in the footsteps of Samsung’s The Frame, which aims to imitate a hanging piece of art, but is even more discreet.
At the touch of a button (and in just 10 seconds), the 65-inch screen of the LG Signature OLED TV R9 rolls away into its compact base, meaning it’s completely out of sight. According to LG, in an effort to make large TVs less conspicuous, manufacturers have been racing to create even slimmer screens but with the rollable design, LG has completely stripped away the traditional concept of a TV.
“LG’s rollable OLED TV is a true game-changer, liberating users from the limitations of the wall and freeing them to curate their own personal space which no longer needs to be reserved full time for TV viewing,” the company said in a press release.
“The fact that it can transform itself to offer three different viewing options – Full View, Line View and Zero View – allows customers to use the TV in ways that were impossible before the development of OLED technology.”
This television comes complete with Google Assistant and Alexa, and you can play music on the Atmos speaker system even when the TV is fully rolled up.
5. Apple Mac Pro
Apple is the master at building anticipation and it has certainly succeeded in keeping everyone guessing about the new Mac Pro. There hasn’t been a new Mac Pro for four years and, although it’s due to launch this year, a specific date has yet been announced.
But the wait could be worth it. In order to “completely rethink” the computer, which is aimed at creatives, Apple has created a whole new team. The Pro Workflow Team aims to better understand the needs of pro customers and developers.
One way it’s doing this is by having architects sit with real customers – in some cases even hiring them so they can observe them more closely. John Ternus, who heads up the team, told macworld: “We’ve brought in some pretty incredible talent, real masters of their craft.”
Tom Boger, Senior Director of Mac Hardware Marketing, said this process had enabled Apple to to locate pain points and bottlenecks. “We’ve gone from just engineering Macs and software to actually engineering a workflow and really understanding from soup to nuts, every single stage of the process, where those bottlenecks are, where we can optimise that.
“We’re getting a much, much, much deeper understanding of our pro customers and their workflows and really understanding not only where the state of the art is today but where the state of the art is going and all of that is really informing the work that we’re doing on the Mac Pro.”
The 2019 Mac Pro is expected to be a modular system that can be updated as new chips come out offering the flexibility that pro customers need. No official product images are currently available but designer Benjamin Monnoyeur has created the above concept illustration, showing what the computer may look like with sliding components.
6. Urban Decay x Game of Thrones
The final season of Game of Thrones returned to HBO/Sky Atlantic in April and brands have been battling it out to get in on the action. According to AdWeek, the hit show has more than 100 licenses globally, making it the most-licensed programme in HBO network history.
One brand partnership that has created much excitement among female fans is the Urban Decay x Game of Thrones makeup collection. Inspired by the strong women of the Seven Kingdoms, the collection enables fans to recreate looks influenced by House Stark, House Targaryen, House Lannister, and the White Walkers.
The collab with Urban Decay is Game of Thrones’ first and only official beauty partnership. Urban Decay announced news of the partnership with a teaser trailer in February, ahead of the launch in April. Posting on Instagram, Urban Decay revealed two dramatic looks with the captions “We are ready” and “Worlds will collide”.
Despite the lack of information surrounding the launch, the teaser caused a stir among customers online, clocking up more than 43,000 likes.
7. Nike Adapt BB
Earlier this year Nike unveiled its “vision for the future”, presenting a new platform called Nike Adapt which aims to deliver digitally-powered adjustable footwear.
Aimed at both athletes and consumers, Nike Adapt lets wearers adjust the fit of their trainers via a smartphone app. The revolutionary technology has been developed by working closely with basketball players.
“During a normal basketball game, the athlete’s foot changes, and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete’s experience,” Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director, told ABS CBN.
Owners of the Nike Adapt BB will be able to adjust the trainers to different situations, such as warming-up or active gameplay via an app which controls the FitAdapt tech embedded in the sole of the shoe. The underfoot lacing of the shoe is as strong as that of a standard parachute cord, able to lift 32 pounds of force.
“The app makes the shoe that much easier to use and allows you to evolve and update your shoe over time,” explained Michael Martin, VP of Nike Direct Product. “But, that’s just the beginning of an incredibly rich robust roadmap of additional improvements.”
8. Orange Vanilla Coke
For the first time in more than a decade, a new flavor of Coke has been unveiled. The Coca-Cola Company decided to launch Orange Vanilla Coke after seeing growth in its other flavour variants.
Kate Carpenter, Brand Director, Coca-Cola said in a press statement: “What we realised is that we had a diamond in the rough when we looked at our flavours portfolio. The growth of Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke – and their zero-calorie variants – has been really strong in recent years even with very limited marketing support.”
Despite this, Coca-Cola’s research found only 12% of Coke drinkers were showing a preference for flavored versions of the classic soft drink.
“This showed us our fans want choice but are getting it outside the Coke Trademark,” Carpenter said. “We knew we had an opportunity to give fans the variety they crave without sacrificing the Coca-Cola taste they love.”
The team considered three other flavors – raspberry, lemon and ginger. But the combination of orange and vanilla emerged as the clear favorite in focus groups. Importantly, more than half of those who sampled the new flavor said they would buy it in addition to – not instead of – Coca-Cola.
According to Coca-Cola, the launch of Orange Vanilla Coke is an example of the company listening to what consumers want, moving quickly and taking smart risks to bring more drinks to market.
9. Dyson Lightcycle
A new Dyson product is always something to get excited about. That’s because the company never fails to elevate the ordinary or everyday. As Jake Dyson, Dyson’s Chief Engineer and inventor, puts it: “Dyson invests in research to improve the way everyday products work.”
This time Dyson has turned its attention to the task light. The company has developed an algorithm based on geographic location, date, and time so that customers anywhere in the world can work with light that duplicates local daylight cycles – improving both visibility and health.
The Lightcycle automatically adjusts its brightness and color temperature throughout the day, and you can pre-programme it. You can set wake and sleep times to gradually adjust the light as you prepare to rise or wind down.
Taking personalisation even further, the Dyson app lets users select precise lighting modes such as relax, study or precision (designed for engineers, artists and crafters). You can also add your age so the Lightcycle adapts its brightness to a level it deems appropriate for your vision.
Arguably the most impressive feature is the lack of light bulbs – instead, the Lightcycle uses copper tubing technology to create a non-stop, energy-free light that maintains its quality for 60 years.
10. LG InstaView ThinQ Alexa Fridge
LG makes it onto the list for a second time with its Alexa-enabled fridge, due out later this year. Like LG’s rollable TV we saw earlier, the fridge also features an OLED display, but this one is transparent, meaning you can see through to the contents of your fridge.
The screen, however, acts as much more than a fancy window – LG says it’s designed to be a complete lifestyle aid. Not only can you instantly add items to your shopping list, if you’re not sure what to make for dinner, you can let the fridge suggest a recipe based on what’s inside. For those with entire integrated smart kitchens, ThinQ technology means the fridge can then communicate with an LG smart oven and set it to the correct pre-heated temperature.
And you won’t need to worry when you run low on household essentials like dishwasher tablets, paper towels or pet food, as you can order them instantly via a menu of virtual Amazon Dash buttons.
Other features include the ability to display photos or the weather forecast, and leave notes for the family. It also has built-in bluetooth speakers for playing music. And thanks to the Alexa integration, the entire fridge can be voice controlled.
According to LG, ThinQ technology brings deep learning to everyday household products. Appliances are enabled with the ability to learn a user’s habits and tastes over time, for even better integration and efficiency.
As these examples show, new products that are developed around the core needs of the customer are the ones that succeed in being the most hotly anticipated. Brands that can prove they’re really listening to what people want, while also pioneering and leading the way with innovation, will be the ones that turn heads.
Whether you need to diversify to appeal to new audiences, or you need to keep existing customers happy to protect yourself against competition, the right insight can provide the product development inspiration you need.
Start collecting data to inform your next product innovation – try Attest now to connect with our audiences of 100 million consumers and get answers.