FAQ FAQ

What is Product of the Year?

Product of the Year is the largest consumer voted award for product innovation. Product of the Year was created to champion new product innovation and give shoppers a shortcut to the very best new products on the market. It’s not only an internationally recognized award but a proven ROI tool.

How is Product of the Year different from other awards?

There are three key areas in which Product of the Year differs versus other award programs:

Trust

Product of the Year has been in operation for over 30 years worldwide. We work with innovation leaders such as P&G, Unilever, Kimberly Clark, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle and many more.

Global

Product of the Year has a globally expanding footprint that currently stands in over 40 countries. Each country operates under a similar goal: Guide consumers to the most innovative products on the market.

Independent

At its core, Product of the Year awards innovation through one of the largest independent consumer surveys which is conducted by the global leader in product innovation research, Kantar.

How is Product of the Year relevant in the current market?

Consumer behavior has shifted dramatically due to COVID-19 making it essential for manufacturers to find new and dynamic ways to connect with consumers and build trust when launching a new product. The Product of the Year seal helps make that consumer connection.

Here are some key insights showcasing how effective the POY confidence mark will be in the “new normal” market place:

  1. With so much more being done in home, how will consumers choose the best product? What better way to invoke consumer confidence than an award supported by 40,000 real shoppers. Consumers are spending more time at home and online and less time in-store perusing the aisles for new products. Everything from food and exercise to beauty and personal care are being brought into the home and innovations must continue to meet, what we anticipate being, this long lasting trend. More so than ever consumers will have to rely on word of mouth, peer reviews and accreditations like POY when making a purchase for their home, from their home.
  2. Brand loyalty has been challenged, Product of the year winners can prove their worth and differentiate. With pandemic induced supply chain disruption, shoppers have been faced with limited options, often forcing trial of new brands/products and, in turn, converting new long-term consumers. In this environment winning Product of the Year makes the case for both legacy brands (how do I get back in the favor of my core consumer) and challenger brands (how do I keep the favor of my new consumer).
  3. It’s not what’s now, its what’s NEXT. Product of the year will drive your product in 2021, we help you look to next year. Come 2021 how will you get competitive advantage? Many CPG manufacturers and retailers, while bracing for the uncertainty presented by COVID-19, have held back marketing spend while simultaneously experiencing sales increases via pandemic stockpiling. This will make for a very competitive marketplace in 2021. While for some it may feel like a long way off, for us marketers we know it’s just around the corner. POY can help you get that advantage NEXT year.
  4. There is only ONE global award for innovation. Numerous reports (eg. Kantar, McKinsey) suggest that innovation in times of recession or market conflict is the key to bouncing back sooner and higher. POY is the ideal way to show your company, brand and product kept innovating through turmoil, meeting new and everchanging consumer demands. To that end, the POY seal will stand out all the more in 2021.
  5. Our research program, driven by Kantar, has never been more important. All participants will receive this crucial piece of research, based on a nationally representative sample of 40,000 American shoppers. Capturing consumer sentiment in this strikingly new COVID landscape is a massive value add to the POY program.

How has COVID-19 impacted the 2021 program?

  • 2021 entry deadline has been moved to October 31st allowing more time for new products to enter and participate.
  • Entry eligibility launch window has been expanded to products launched after January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. If your product launch falls outside of this 24-month window, please contact a member of the POY team to discuss product eligibility.
  • The 2021 Press Preview Event (December 2020) will be formatted differently than previous years based on CDC and NY state guidelines. We anticipate even greater engagement with media, industry professionals and influencers.
  • The 2021 Awards Event (February 2021) is pending and remains to be determined based off of everchanging CDC and NY state guidelines. The safety and health of all staff, partners and participants is first and foremost.

What products qualify?

For the 2021 awards, we accept entries from products launched after January 1st, 2019. Products must be available online and/or have national distribution and demonstrate meaningful consumer innovation in one of the following areas: function, design, packaging, ingredients. If you’re not sure if your product qualifies, please reach out to us, and we can help figure out product eligibility.

How do you define innovation?

We accept entries from products that demonstrate innovation in their function, design, packaging, or ingredients. This could be a completely new type of product or a useful innovation to an older product or brand, such a new ingredient, redesigned shape or size, new formula (eg. less sugar) or new packaging (eg., user-friendly or “green”). Remember, it does not have to be revolutionary as long as it makes consumers’ lives better/easier. Please contact us directly if you have questions about your product.

How are the winners determined?

We partner with the leading global research company Kantar, to survey a nationally representative sample of 40,000 American shoppers. The survey is designed to evaluate product innovation on several criteria, including product appeal, satisfaction, advocacy, purchase interest, uniqueness, relevance and excitement.

Can I enter more than one product?

Yes. There is no limit on how many products from one brand can be entered, as long as they meet the criteria above.

When can I enter?

Product of the Year accepts entries for the 2021 program beginning April 1, 2020 and closes for entries October 31, 2020.

What are the categories?

The general broad categories of product entries we accept include Food and Beverage, Health and Beauty, Personal Care, Household Products, Pet Supplies, OTC medications, Small Appliances and Electronics, etc. The exact category names are determined by Kantar after all entries are received. Because this is an award for innovation, the categories are often driven by innovation trends of the preceding year.

We work with Kantar to make sure only comparable products compete with each other and there are never less than 2 or more than 6 products in a category.

How much does it cost?

  • Entry to Product of the Year is free.
  • If your product is selected to be a part of the 2021 survey of 40,000 consumers, there is a finalist fee of $7,000.
  • If consumers vote your product “Product of the Year”, there is a one-time winner fee of $63,000 that allows promoting the win and using our logo in any type of media for two full years. This fee also covers full inclusion in the national PR campaign which generates a minimum of 500 million media impressions annually.

Can I opt out once I enter?

Products cannot opt out once submitted. By submitting your product, you are providing full commitment to the program and any fees that may apply if your product is voted a finalist or winner of Product of the Year.

What are the benefits of winning?

Winners have found numerous ways to benefit from POY over the past 30 years, but below are the guaranteed benefits offered to the Product of the Year winners:

  • Inclusion in nationwide PR campaign – delivering at least 500 million media impressions annually through national & regional broadcast, consumer & trade media, social media & influencer campaigns, giveaways and more.
  • A comprehensive research analysis of the Kantar survey of 40,000 consumers, reporting product performance across several measures including appeal, satisfaction, advocacy, purchase interest, uniqueness, relevance and excitement.
  • Most importantly, winners receive a two-year licensing term on unlimited usage of the Product of the Year seal on all marketing material which has a proven track record to lift sales.

What is Press Preview?

Press Preview is a preliminary evaluation of all entries to confirm that each product meets the basic requirements for the program. The Press Preview is an event attended by industry professionals, media and influencers. Products advancing from Press Preview are deemed “Finalists” and are subsequently placed into research for evaluation from the Kantar survey of 40,000 consumers.

When was Product of the Year founded?

Product of the Year was founded in 1987 in France by former L’OREAL executive, Christian LeBret.

Does Product of the Year exist in other countries?

Product of the Year currently exists in over 40 countries. Each market operates independently.

Who can I contact for additional information?

You may contact us with any questions at 212-213-0600.

With questions about sponsorships, joint ventures or media inquiries, you can contact Dolinda Meeker at dolinda@poyusa.com.

With general inquiries and information on how to enter, contact Eric Greenstein at eric@poyusa.com or Jeff Hurwitz at jeff@poyusa.com.

 

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