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Product Benchmarking: Lip Service, Window Dressing or Competitive Advantage?
By: Peter Kaplan, PhD, TRI/Princeton
Posted: February 16, 2010
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As another example, formulators at different consumer goods company were able to use benchmarking data with their marketing department to guard against over-reaching claims language that would have resulted in industry challenges. This benchmarking study enabled them to focus internal resources on brand-differentiating measurements that supported even more impactful claims in the marketplace.
If a company is sincere about superior product performance, product benchmarking is a strategic imperative that will enable them to:
1. Set clear targets and action plans. Benchmark data provides measurable and comparable data to identify where a product's performance currently stands and to where it should be moving. Benchmarking ratios are instrumental for setting goals and action programs for new product development as well as helping to focus attention on the most controllable aspects of a product. Success and failure can be clearly analyzed and acted upon to adjust and improve performance.
2. Keep an eye on a product's performance over time. Benchmark ratios provide an objective standard with which to measure a product's performance. Regularly tracking the key measurements of a marketed product avoids the cumulative effects of “salami slicing” quality by forcing formulators to attend to the critical factors affecting the product's performance. How does a current product's performance measure up to new offerings?
3. Communicate the results. Benchmark ratios allows companies to differentiate their products in the marketplace and provide the solid claim support data to uphold advertising and promotional campaigns.