The introduction of new products is widely recognized as one of the most important marketing activities of companies. Nevertheless, an intensive new product strategy is risky, as many new products fail in their first year. The purpose of this article is to increase our understanding of the factors affecting the first-year consumer acceptance of new products. To study this, we use two metrics of acceptance, viz., the first-year level of purchases and the first-year trend in purchases of new products at the level of the individual household. We develop hypotheses pertaining to the effect of product, competitive environment, and consumer factors on these two metrics of consumer acceptance. Our data comprise the sales in the first four quarters after introduction for 301 new CPGs launched in the U.K. (74 CPG introductions), France (104), Germany (67), and Spain (56), using Europanel household panels in each country, involving a total of over 16,000 households. The extensive data used in this study provide a strong test of the generalizability of the findings. The empirical results support the hypotheses and allow us to derive cross-national empirical generalizations, as well as to identify differences regarding factors underlying new product acceptance. Particularly noteworthy is that, across all four countries, acceptance of new products is systematically affected in the same way by consumer characteristics. This implies that these variables can be used for national, as well as for international, market segmentation. In addition to recommendations for pan-European segmentation strategies, the results allow us to make suggestions for the R&D process and local marketing activities.

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International Journal of Research in Marketing
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Gielens, K., & Steenkamp, J.-B. (2007). Drivers of consumer acceptance of new packaged goods: An investigation across products and countries. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 24(2), 97–111. doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2006.12.003