How to Make a New Product Successful
New products are introduced onto the market all the time, but the vast majority of them fail. Many inventors don’t realize their failure is not due to some monumental shortcoming in the product itself, but in the way in which it is presented.
Most new products are reasonably sufficient if they make it all the way through the planning and development stages, but being useful isn’t enough.
Address Customer Needs
Many products fail because they don’t clearly address any particular need or solve any specific problem in consumers’ lives. Very often, customers are not just looking for trendy new items; they are looking for a solution. For example, it’s not that consumers are craving microwaveable meals, it’s that they are looking for a simple solution to the problem of preparing dinner after a long day at work. A successful product is one that fills a void in the lives of customers. In successful marketing, that void needs to be clearly identified and relatable. Once the need is identified, it’s time to introduce the solution — your new product.
Offer a Good Price for the Value
Once you’ve identified customer needs and offered a reasonable solution, you need to define its value. Even if you identify a common problem that no other product on the market addresses and you offer the perfect solution, no one will buy a product that is not worth the price. If it’s unreasonably priced, customers will try to get around their needs by using products that don’t quite fit. For example, if customers need to drill a hole but your drill costs thousands of dollars, they might try to use other tools they have or just re-evaluate how important it is to drill the hole. Pricing needs to justify the purchase for customers.
Too often, marketing is a one-way street. Companies beat potential customers over the head with all the features of their product. Instead of trying to answer every possible customer need through endless advertising, you can reach out and initiate a dialog through focus groups, consumer organizations and surveys. Establishing communication with customers is almost always worth the cost, since it offers you the most important perspective on your new product from the audience that will make or break your success. Often, asking for customer feedback will lead you to make subtle adjustments to the product and your marketing efforts, which can lead to increased sales.
Everything about your product could be perfect, but if it is difficult to acquire, customers will opt for another solution or avoid the solution altogether. You need to carefully consider distribution — where, when and how customers can get your product. No matter what route you take for distribution, it should be straightforward and hassle-free for consumers. No one wants to navigate complicated online instructions or numerous telephone transfers just to get a product. Simple, honest and straightforward routes of procurement will assure customers that they have made a good choice and ensure a long-term relationship with your company.