Mihaela Paduraru: Sales for “Product of the Year” brands can go up by 25%


Mihaela Paduraru, Project Manager Product of the Year at Media Concept Store, said, in an interview for AdHugger, that 81% of the people are willing to buy a product elected “Product of the year” (PDA) in the following year and that the products that are using the “PDA” logo actually had an increase of 25% for their sales.

Read more about “Product of the Year” selection, its evolution on Romanian market, consumer mentality differences and others.

AdHugger:  On what measure do you think people are influenced in their buying decision when seeing a product flagged as the best of the year?

Mihaela Paduraru: Based on the results of the survey, 81% of the respondents declare that they are willing to buy in the next 12 months a product elected PDA ( Produit del’Année)

AdH: Are the three criteria used enough to determine whether a product is the best in its class?

M.P.: Yes, from the perspective of the product innovation and the interest registered among consumers, we measure the most relevant criteria.

AdH: Winning the “Product of the year” award can turn into a long term benefit or does the success that comes along fades away in time?

M.P.: We are very confident that “Product of the Year” award has the power to turn into a long term benefit for the brand.

The concept has a worldwide history of 24 years, with clients that continue to participate year by year in the competition. In Romania, PDA was introduced in 2009, so we are living its early times, however the generated interest and the cooperation of the clients in the process marked great results.

AdH: What were the challenges in setting on such an event on the Romanian market?

M.P.: Of course, the consequences of the economic crisis were a great challenge, but in the same time PDA comes with benefits that have stand out even in hard times: differentiation from competitors and opportunity to further grow trust in the brand.

AdH: How did local companies receive the idea? How do international and local brands get along in a competition like this?

M.P.: The 2011 edition of PDA was the first one that not only harmonized both international and local brands, but  designated a well-known and appreciated local brand as winner in one category.

AdH: Do you know brands that are constant winners?

M.P.: The competition is open to any brand that proves innovation in the past 18 months  from the date of registration, so the chances are equal for everyone. The brand that succeeds to convince consumers about its attributes and benefits wins in the end and can be a constant winner.

AdH: Is there a certain recipe for success?

M.P.: The studies conducted in West European countries showed that PDA logo used on product can increase sales up to 25%. The logo can be used on package and all advertising materials of the brand (TV, print, internet, OOH).

AdH: Tell us more about the jury and how are the judges being selected?

M.P.: The ethical jury has the mission to validate the products entering the competition and the categories they are classified in. Its members are well known professionals from communication and retail industry, as well as representative from customer protection institution. For 2011 edition, the jury was formed by:

  • Otilia Calugareanu, Publishing Director, Magazinul Progresiv
  • Teodora Migdalovici, Ambasador Cannes Lions Romania
  • Corina Doba, Project Manager, ANPCPPS Romania

AdH: What sets apart this competition from others of the same type?

M.P.: PDA concept comes with 2 big differentiators:

  • the elected products are designated based on the results of the largest study on Romanian consumers, nationally representative, counting 4,000 individuals.
  • the study analyzes a specific brand product of the client portfolio, not the client portfolio brand

AdH: How much interest did the event generated in the local media?

M.P.: PDA has an exclusive media partnership with the trusted and well-known retail magazine “Magazinul Progresiv”.

On the other hand, speaking of the delay of PDA enter on Romanian market, Heike Labetzki – Managing Director Europe Produits de l’Année Benelux S.A, says that the extension process depends on economic opportunities and social factors.

“In this respect, we started to investigate the market since 2006, when the consumption of Romanian economy started an increasing trend and Romanian consumers become, but  the right time to us proved to be 2009”, Labetzki said.

Labetzki also spoke about the differences between customers options in Romania and the ones living in countries like France, where the contest has been around for more than 20 years.

“In France we have an awareness of more than 95%, after only 3 editions in Romania, we do not expect an awareness like this, but the red logo is already known and it helps consumers to decide which product they want to buy. In general and based on our experiences in other countries we can say, that the logo influences the decision of buying a product.

Consumers confirm, that they prefer to buy a product with the logo “chosen product of the year” instead of a product without the logo”, he explained.

Heike Labetzki also mentioned that there are already several producers from Romania who want to participate in other countries, because they are distributed there and appreciated  that they have a good chance to win, if they are known on the foreign markets.