How Research and Development Creates Opportunity For Increased Sales
Careful product research and development is a big part of Planet Smoothie’s success, but how those new products are rolled out is a key part of the process
No matter what the business is, customers love choice. That’s certainly true of a Planet Smoothie franchise, where the menu board offers the potential for many different flavor combinations.
In their desire to have something new, many other operators in the smoothie arena add new blends, or add-ins, at a frantic pace. Customers can’t keep up, and sales are not robust. That’s not how Planet Smoothie does it, and that’s why we continue to grow market share in a competitive marketplace.
“We are very deliberate about our R&D process, as well as our marketing and product rollout,” says Morgan Osborne, Research and Development Manager. “We never want to flood the stores with too many things at once; even if they’re all good, none of them can stand out when that happens.”
Testing, marketing combine on calendar
New ideas are always percolating in the test kitchen, thanks to constant input from Planet Smoothie franchise owners and customers. A Franchise Advisory Board will be sampling those during meetings and contributing to the marketing and rollout, as well.
“It’s a very deliberate process,” Morgan says. “We look at the categories of smoothies we have and see how a new item would fit into those. Then our marketing team looks at planned promotions to see if the new item would dovetail with one of those, or if it would need its own marketing plan.”
From there, promotional materials are created, and the processes of securing ingredients and teaching the local Planet Smoothie franchise teams how to make the product begin.
Old and new? Rollouts mix it up
Another way Planet Smoothie franchise owners benefit from all this work is that longtime favorites may be gone for a while, but they’re never forgotten.
“We do rotate items off the menu, but sometimes they come back due to customer demand, or thanks to a new ingredient that freshens them up,” Morgan says. “Our marketing team does the same thing with promotions. If there’s a smoothie, or an ingredient, that we know the public wants to see again, we try to make that happen.”
All the work in R&D, not to mention the robust marketing that includes point-of-purchase cards, posters, advertising and more, makes the Planet Smoothie franchise menu board a living thing. Customers love creating their own smoothies, but they also enjoy trying something new that’s been created with them in mind. All told, it’s a durable process that benefits Planet Smoothie franchise owners in many ways.