Manufacturers Speak Out
The role that marketing and sales play in the R&D process from the manufacturing side depends on the size of the company and its goals for new product development. Involving the ingredient company can come early on, as in the case of Formula 50, a new drink recently debuted by Energy Brands, Whitestone, N.Y., or later in the process, as in the case of 7 UP Plus, a fortified soft drink released this summer by Dr Pepper/ Seven Up, Plano, Texas. According to the development team of 7 UP Plus, the company’s marketing and sales team worked specifically on the strategy and concept development, while ideas and input were gathered from other sources such as R&D.
The marketing team, with input from R&D, was also involved in establishing a budget for 7 UP Plus. The ingredient company was involved in meetings that included R&D and marketing to transfer new ideas.
In the case of grape-flavored Formula 50, the cross-functional nature of sales, marketing and R&D roles at Energy Brands allowed a number of individuals to get involved in product development. Additionally, the company works closely with ingredient suppliers as part of its brand strategy to be on top of new ingredient developments.
“Sales was looking for a new flavor,” says Carol Dollard, senior vice president, operations and technology. “Marketing was already working with hip-hop artist 50 Cent as a brand ambassador. R&D was working on a new flavor system based on what consumers were telling them. We put it all together [to create Formula 50].”