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Consumer resistance

In the 1950s, when Tetley first introduced the tea bag to the UK market, many thought the concept would fail. There was so much myth and ritual surrounding the sacred art of making a pot of tea: a teaspoon of loose tea for every person plus one for the pot; warm the pot; take the pot to the kettle; not vice versa; allow to stand and brew for four minutes. Yet slowly, the tea bag became accepted. The saving in time and sheer convenience of making a cuppa in a cup trumped the tradition and mystery of brewing tea in the pot. Later came disposable nappies, paper towels, lite beer, and diet cola. All big modern success stories encounter varying degrees of consumer resistance. Consumers sometimes didn’t know they needed these innovations until they were told that they did. Only then did they agree.

The success of these products can be attributed to a number of factors, including:

  • Consumer education: Companies often spend a lot of money educating consumers about the benefits of their products. For example, Tetley invested heavily in advertising to teach people how to use tea bags.
  • Price: New products are often more expensive than existing ones, but prices tend to come down over time. For example, disposable nappies were initially very expensive, but their price has fallen dramatically in recent years.
  • Convenience: Many new products offer significant convenience benefits, such as saving time or reducing mess.For example, paper towels are much more convenient than washing up cloths.
  • Trendiness: Some products become successful because they are fashionable or trendy. For example, diet cola was initially seen as a healthy alternative to regular cola, but it has now become a popular drink for people of all ages.

In conclusion, the success of new products is often determined by a combination of factors, including consumer education, price, convenience, and trendiness.

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