Product Of The Year (POY), an independent survey into product innovation, has forayed into India. The concept, which is currently running in 28 countries for the last 20 years, seeks to empower consumers towards best in innovation. The process of selection is based on an initial shortlisting of entries, which is followed by a thorough research on consumer preferences that determine final winners across all categories.
POY allows only one winner per category, and thus, in such a manner it helps consumers identify innovative products in an environment where there is an overflow of information. Products launched in the past 18 months are entitled to participate.
Once the products are registered with POY, an eminent jury validates / shortlists entries to ensure that only genuine innovations go through in the competition. The jury consists of industry leaders, senior journalists, consumer protection groups, iconic citizens and personalities of national standing. After the shortlisting of entries, what follows is a thorough consumer research study with a sample size of around 1 lakh by a professional research company.
There is no entry fee, but once a brand qualifies in the first round of shortlisting, a fee of Rs 4 lakh is charged for participating in the POY, and irrespective of whether an entry wins or not, the entire consumer research study is given to the participant free of cost. The winner in each category will have to buy the rights for a year for Rs 15 lakh to use the POY Year logo on the product and the advertising or any other communication for that matter.
Announcing POY’s arrival in India, Mike Nolan, CEO, Product of The Year Management Ltd, said, “Consumers in over 28 countries already rely on POY to find them their product of choice. It is indeed the quickest and authentic way of finding the best products from a plethora that appear every year in the market.”
Charulata Ravi Kumar, CEO, Product Of The Year, India, said, “With POY being launched in India, we will have a global standard in consumer rating as one of the most credible and unbiased systems that provides consumers a unique way of identifying the best and most relevant innovations in products in categories where it is otherwise difficult to do so.”
Commenting on POY’s direct marketing initiatives with the end consumers, Kumar said that they were looking at advertising, retailing, product/packaging, PR, and word of mouth by the end of the last quarter of 2008.
Some brands that have been participating over the years across various POY markets include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestle, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola, among others.