I live in Colorado - and aside from being a test market for off-broadway shows (no joke) and a location for one of Nielsen's mini-marts (e.g. Grand Junction) it also happens that car manufacturers' bring their future models and new vehicle upgrades to our state to be test driven on our 11,000-12,000' mountain passes. When they run these tests, they purposefully hide their vehicles with a crazy, eye-catching black and white camouflage meant to obscure both brand and design. This past weekend I was able to witness two of these examples.... and they both provide a perfect analog to how Mission Field helps our CPG clients test their new product innovations in plain sight.
The story goes like this - I was taking my family up to the mountains for a weekend away when we saw two camouflaged sports cars testing themselves out on Loveland pass (~12,000' high). They were camouflaged in a stunning black and white pattern (like the picture above) that was meant to obscure exterior features as well as the base brand. Although I did not pause to take a picture, my quick glance made me assume that one car sort of looked like a Lamborghini while the other could have been an Audi. But to be fair - both could have been any brand of car. Perhaps one was a souped-up Toyota and the other a Chinese car in disguise. What struck me the most was how it's a perfect example of how a manufacturer can to do real word performance testing, yet still, keep everything relatively hidden/obscured.
Like those camouflaged cars, Mission Field helps our CPG clients keep their innovations hidden while still putting it on a shelf for shoppers to see, buy and consume. How can we accomplish that? First by giving these innovations the benefit of our own licensed UPC code. Having our own UPCs prevents any competitor who pulls down the IRI or Nielsen data from seeing what manufacturer actually developed each new innovation. Second, we keep our clients blinded by being listed on the product as the distributor or manufacturer, because aside from being an actual producer of products, we also have established relationships with dozens of retailers that allow us to be listed in that context. Third, we have a unique model that allows us to control the exposure of new ideas in a controlled way while still being available for consumers to purchase in real-world scenarios. Put together - all three methodologies allow us to take any packaged good innovation in any category and create a transactional test that allows our clients to learn and understand how well their new idea will work in the marketplace and how to make improvements, all without a competitor ever knowing. If you want to learn more about how this model can help you test your innovations - feel free to reach out to us and we will be happy to show you how we can help.