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Innovation of the Day: Find New Growth Spaces Using a Broad Innovation Lens


  • Marketers' category definitions are outdated: Over 50% of categories don't reflect how consumers shop, ignoring their desires for specific attributes and benefits.

  • Successful new products align with consumer needs: Circana's 2023 New Product Pacesetters demonstrate how brands found success by catering to evolving consumer needs, even crossing traditional category boundaries.

  • Consumers prioritize need fulfillment over category: Consumers don't adhere to strict categories when seeking solutions for specific needs, such as nutrition, convenience, or unique experiences.

  • Purchase-based data reveals opportunities: Observing purchase patterns and attributes can expose consumer motivations and unmet needs, leading to innovation.

Key Takeaway:

Marketers need to shift from outdated category definitions to a consumer-centric approach that prioritizes understanding and fulfilling evolving needs.


Consumers are increasingly driving the definition of product categories based on their needs, rather than conforming to traditional industry classifications.


  • Marketers must adapt to the consumer-driven landscape to remain relevant and capture growth opportunities.

  • Purchase-based data and predictive analytics offer valuable insights into consumer behavior and unmet needs.

  • Innovation should focus on solving specific consumer needs with relevant attributes and benefits, even if it means crossing traditional category lines.

Implications for Brands:

  • Re-evaluate category definitions: Review current market structures and identify gaps between consumer needs and existing categories.

  • Embrace purchase-based data: Utilize purchase data and predictive analytics to understand consumer behavior and uncover hidden opportunities.

  • Prioritize consumer needs:  Develop products and marketing strategies that address specific consumer needs, even if it means venturing into new or unconventional categories.

  • Innovate beyond boundaries: Don't be constrained by traditional category definitions; explore new product concepts and combinations that fulfill emerging needs.

  • Target effectively:  Use purchase-based data to identify and target specific consumer segments with tailored offerings.

By adopting a consumer-centric approach and leveraging data-driven insights, brands can unlock new growth opportunities, drive innovation, and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving CPG landscape.


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