A new product introduction needing to be branded

Nova Chemicals is a plastics and chemical company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. The company was preparing to launch a new product line that was truly transformational in terms of technical capability. It had the potential to disrupt the category in a very positive way. FullSurge was asked to help them articulate the new product line’s unique value proposition, and to determine how it should be branded. The company was concerned that launching this new line within an existing product brand would be a mistake. Specifically, it felt the equities associated with any of its existing master brands would create suboptimal perceptions of the new product line, and perhaps even dilute equities for the existing product brand. However, the company wanted to either validate or refute this hypothesis through customer research and for FullSurge to help determine the optimal positioning and branding strategy for the new product introduction.

Making the case for a new-to-the-world product brand

FullSurge conducted two waves of iterative qualitative research among Nova Chemical’s target customers. Our research was robust and global in nature, including dozens of companies from countries across Europe, Asia and North America. The primary objective of the market research was to help inform value proposition development, and also to understand whether the new product line could be housed within an existing product brand, or whether the launch of a new product brand within the portfolio was warranted.

Findings from customer research were telling. First, we learned the new product line was every bit as groundbreaking and transformational as the client believed. Additionally, when prompted, customers saw a significant disconnect between the primary value proposition of the new product and the positioning of any other brand within the company’s portfolio. Although our “default” position with new product introductions is to try to house them within an existing product brand (a brand architecture best practice), market research clearly indicated this would be a mistake. Not only would it do a disservice to the new product, but it would also likely dilute the valuable equity of one of the existing, established product brands. As such, we recommended the introduction of a new product brand with a very unique and compelling positioning that was markedly different from any of its existing portfolio brands.

Customers saw a significant disconnect between the primary value proposition of the new product and the positioning of any other brand within the company’s portfolio. 
Moving from strategy to activation

The client embraced our recommendation and prepared for the successful launch of the new product line and brand. This included leveraging the value proposition we created to help them and their agency partners develop a name, visual identity system, and communications platform that would ensure a successful marketplace launch.

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