InContext uncovered the risks and barriers to success associated with a new product launch that was being considered by Smith Brothers.

Smith Brothers was looking to introduce a new daytime and nighttime cough drop product to grow sales and increase distribution within key drug store retailers. Our client was also looking to update the product packaging, for both the new product as well as existing cough drop products.

Before rolling out the new products and packaging, Smith Brothers wanted to measure expected performance and impact in order to validate the changes and sell them into new retailers. 

Study Design
InContext Solutions designed a virtual store to understand the impact that the new products and packaging would have on:
- Brand and category sales
- Brand perceptions

  • Understand what drives purchases and if shoppers notice new packaging/products on shelf.
  • Understand if shoppers are drawn to new packaging/products.
  • Measure consumers’ reactions to new packaging/products.
  • Understand consumers’ familiarity with and perceptions of the Smith Brothers brand.

Key Findings
Despite demonstrated interest in purchasing, very few shoppers actually purchased the products with new packaging in the virtual store. 

Shoppers spent significantly more time reading about the new daytime/nighttime product at the shelf, yet fewer actually purchased it. This demonstrates a disconnect between shoppers and communication of the product benefits or how the product works.

The heat map below shows the new product was not catching shoppers’ attention - it was getting lost in the cluttered cough drop shelf.  


Results SB-Results

Our client learned their new daytime/nighttime product has weak penetration in-store. Those that do notice the product at shelf need more information about how the product works to feel comfortable purchasing. There is also an opportunity to communicate the new product’s benefits more clearly on the product packaging.


By conducting a virtual store test, Smith Brothers was able to forsee challenges to their sales and identify areas for improvement prior to launching their new product. This helped save our client money while mitigating the risks associated with launching a new product.