Ready For Launch? What to Do Before Introducing New Products, Services
Avoid the most common mistakes when rolling out a new offering.
You’ve got a new product. You’re excited. You’ve worked out the operational kinks, and you know your costs, as well as your manufacturing and shipping dates.You’re ready to start selling and profiting from all your work and preparation.
But have you taken all the steps necessary to optimize your potential for success?
Multiple research groups estimate that anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of new consumer products fail in the marketplace, even for companies thatare experienced at launching products. How can this be?
There are a few mistakes that are all-too-often made when creating, producing and launching a new product. But following the right series of steps can maximize success by bringing to light what others may fail to see, or not even know to look for.
Who Is Your Customer?
First and foremost, you must know your consumer target. The mistake a business can make here is its people get so excited about a new concept or invention that they dive into production assuming demand will be there when the new idea hits the market. But there are certain questions that must be answered before resources are spent on a new product. Most important of which is, “Who will buy it?”
This may seem obvious, but too often businesses are surprised by who their consumer actually is.
Ask yourself what problem your product solves for your customer. Once you know what the problem is, you can begin to identify the kind of consumer who is most likely to encounter this problem. Start your focus on people. Is the likely consumer of your new product male or female? Affluent or middle class? Is the problem seasonal? Regional?
For example, if your product is intended to be used for exercise or athletics, it may be that the majority of users of your product are high school and college students. If this is the case, then it is likely not the student who is spending the money to purchase the product, but her mother. In this case, advertising, packaging and marketing efforts should not be focused on the user of the product, but her mother, who has different opinions, needs and values than the end user. Is the person who buys your product not the end user? You must become, or find, an expert in consumer targeting.
Who Is Your Competition?
Another common mistake is not knowing who your competition is. A business must conduct a marketplace assessment to see if and how the problem the new product solves is already being solved by other products.
In which stores and websites are these products found? Which departments? And what prices do consumers pay for these items? Is your product worth more? Less? How does the expected price point affect your margin?
Is Your Product Appealing?
Finally, your new product must be appealing to your newly identified consumer. It must solve the problem in a pleasing way.
Is your product relatively easy to use? Is it comfortable to handle? Is there a prestige factor to your new product? Does it feel high-end, or is it an economical solution compared to other products on the market?
As you tackle the challenge of appeal, you must realize that appeal is subjective. Do some research with your new consumer, talk to her, ask her these questions and see what opinion trends emerge.
Answering all these questions is essential to the success of the launch of your new product. It will define your price point, your packaging, your advertising targets, your points of purchase, and it will more accurately estimate your sales. Let your consumer fine-tune your product for you, and you will find that the adjustments you make before you launch will create a product tailor-made to their needs. Give your new product the best possible chance to sell, and your business to grow.