Monday, August 29, 2011

Is Twining's Making a Mythstake to change Earl Grey?

Consumers of Twining's Earl Grey tea are up in arms because the company has added more citrus flavor to the tea. A company spokesperson said the company would not respond to consumer calls to return to the old flavor because it had done market research and the tea had to "evolve."

Innovation Myths and Mythstakes (Mistakes) by Tom Coffey, Dave Siegel, and Mark Smith includes 7 myths, several of which deal with following consumer research, no matter what. In Myth # 12, "There's No Such Thing As A Bad Idea," the authors caution against using such research to change a product without asking some vital questions such as:
Does the consumer intend to buy your new item?
What is the most compelling reason consumers give for their interest?
Is there reason besides "needing to evolve" (such a steep decline in sales) to think that innovation is needed?

We have to wait and see whether Twinings is about to have a "Classic Coke" moment as many "tweeters" are predicting and be forced to back down from the new recipe. But before  you decide you need to innovate, just to say you are doing so, step back and consider the 27 myths.

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