The program, which is accepting entries through July, will reward marketers who create consumer product goods that show innovation, deliver high quality and have been introduced to the market within the last 18 months (since January 2007). Entry is free.
Based in New York, POY is headed by Colleen Kelly as executive director. The veteran media and marketing executive has worked with multinational brands in several sectors. Until joining POY last year, she was partner and director of business development at Deutsch L.A.
The POY concept has been around in Europe for two decades, where 10-15% increases in sales for consumer packaged goods earning a POY label in the UK are common, the program says. Kelly says the POY distinction is the largest and most representative consumer vote on product innovation.
"Consumers are bombarded with dozens of similar products with very little input about which of them are comparatively superior and which are worth their money," she says. POY is a "critical identifier of what new products are the most innovative on the market."
After July 31, a jury of industry leaders selects the best product entries to continue to the next round. To continue in the competition, marketers must pay $25,000 per entry.
In September, TNS Market Research will conduct a study of more than 100,000 U.S. consumers to determine which products should win a POY label. "Win or lose," says Kelly, "participants get free consumer research worth about $80,000."
Winners will be notified by the end of November, and an awards presentation will take place in January. Winners pay $90,000 to use the POY logo for a year.