Every day, countless new products are launched with the promise of revolutionising a service or industry. Here’s why most of these ideas fail.
According to the Small Business Association, around 30% of new businesses fail within the first two years of operation due to poor planning or funding. Additionally, 72% of new products fail to meet their revenue targets.
The truth is, there’s no secret to getting customers to buy a new product or service. However, many businesses forget to begin this process with a strong foundation and clearly defined goals.
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Research shows that around 45% of newly launched consumer goods and services fail. Part of the reason why is because many business owners will only focus on one aspect of the product launch, instead of preparing a comprehensive strategy.
If you’re thinking about launching your next big idea to market, don’t do it before you’ve gone through these helpful tips to help your new product succeed:
1. Research Your Audience
According to the Harvard Business Review, the biggest problem many businesses face is being too focused on designing and manufacturing their new products. They then forget to research who their products are created for.
Stand out from the crowd. Ensure your product caters to a specific audience segment. Target them the same way you would with your marketing efforts.
Research audience demographics such as age, gender and occupation to get a clear idea of your ideal customer profile. Additionally, considering habits such as where your audience would connect with your brand online and what they do with their spare time can help you create a more meaningful buyer persona.
Remember, if your audience is already purchasing a similar product from your competition, you must create a case for why yours is better. Your best prospects will have a perceived need for what you offer.
2. Unique Service/Value Proposition
Speaking of better products and services – consider what makes your product or service unique.
While this might seem fairly obvious, many businesses forget to clearly define their unique selling point and thus, fail to launch, or get lost in a saturated industry with tons of copycat products.
Essentially, your product must:
Solve the right problem.
Solve a problem your audience agrees already exists.
Only 3% of consumer goods exceed their sales goal of a successful launch, so think carefully about what problem your product solves.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you’ve clearly identified your target audience, then it’s likely you have a product to solve a very specific need. If you haven’t, it might be a good idea to head back to the drawing board before investing too much time, money and effort into developing a product that won’t successfully launch because of a lack of interest.
3. Know your Competition
Once you’ve defined who you’re selling to and the unique problem you’re solving, it’s time to investigate who you’re directly competing against.
Of course, you should already have a basic idea of your competition by the time you’ve started your audience research. At this point, you’re trying to establish how you can gain an advantage over those already in the market.
Every product has competition. You should ask yourself: If my product didn’t exist, who would my audience be using and why?
For example, the finance, insurance and real estate industries reported the highest start-up success rate with over 50% of businesses in these industries still in operation after 4 years. They must be offering something unique, right?
Go old school with a SWOT analysis and get a clear view of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Additionally, review your competitions marketing strategy, website and brochures to see how you can approach these efforts differently.
Do you offer better pricing, value add-ons or futuristic capabilities that your competition could only dream of? Whatever it is, you must ensure that your product stands up against those already in the same industry.
In product development, an assumption is not a fact. It might be hard to digest, but you’re probably not the first person to come up with *that* great idea for an app.
In fact, when it comes to launching a product, 43% of companies report facing too many errors during this process.
Before spending money on mass producing your new product, you should test and adjust according to the feedback you get from consumers.
Prototyping is the most important step before you start your full-scale marketing campaigns. It should give you a good understanding of what features of your product or service do or don’t work.
Don’t leave this to just before your product launch. Smart business owners would start with a small campaign where they can test, research and adjust according to focus group feedback.
Once you’ve created a bit of buzz, you can do further research into customer trends and begin advertising your website or landing page to capture prospects and create interest with a newsletter or social media updates.
Market research can be deceptive, but testing and feedback gives you real responses to the interest in your product before the launch.
Finally, you can start marketing. Seriously, this should be the last phase of planning during your product launch after thorough research, testing and adjustments have been made.
Consider where your product would be best received and invest in those platforms. This means a clearly developed strategy that includes branding elements and paid campaigns.
Use A/B testing if you’ll be employing email campaigns and remember that you can’t go wrong with some well-written, original press releases and blog posts. Using social media influencer’s is also a great way to generate brand awareness and grow your own following.
The first few days are the most crucial for a successful product launch so use a combination of tactics to generate the right amount of buzz for your product.
Launching a new product is not always as easy as it seems. These tips are here to help you analyse if your current strategy is the best approach. Consider these basics before you say you’re ready to market. Save yourself time and money; and foolproof your next big product or service launch.