Got a can’t-miss idea for a new product? Are you sure about that? Fewer than 3% of new consumer packaged goods have what the retail industry considers a successful launch.* That’s a lot of unmet expectations. This means that before you launch your new product, you should take the time to make sure your idea, target market, and marketing strategies align in a way that can help ensure success. Here are five tips on how to do just that.
Your product idea might be unique, but in the world of business marketing, that means nothing if people aren’t interested. That’s why the first step in product development is research. In the past, market and product research required a significant amount of staff time and expenditure. These days, you can conduct a lot of research online. For example, Google Analytics allows you to see what topics and products people are searching for, which can give you insight into what people are and are not interested in. You can also use online searches to locate products similar to your idea and check out their consumer ratings, and even what individual buyers are saying on sites like Amazon. It’s a great way to determine the viability—and competitive market—of your product idea.
When you’re doing research, pay close attention to who is searching for and reviewing products and topics similar to your product idea. For example, if you want to introduce a beach chair that is both easy to transport and yet won’t blow over, you want to learn what types of people are interested in beach leisure and beach products. By narrowing down where your potential market lives, their income level, what websites they frequent, and their demographics, you can tailor your product to the market’s needs, ensure your price points fit within the market’s preferred price range, and ultimately develop marketing for your business or product that speaks to the people most likely to buy.
One of the biggest product development mistakes you can make is to never speak to real people about your idea. It’s imperative that you reach out to people in both your expected target market and from outside of it to determine interest level. You can achieve this through traditional focus groups or online surveys, social media outreach, and other modern means of connecting to consumers. This is your chance to find out if people are excited about your idea, ask questions about additional features they desire, and determine what price they’re willing to pay.
While a prototype usually costs significantly more than a finished product (because it often requires a lot more handwork and a lot less automation), building a prototype can give you a good sense of what is actually possible. Can you include all the features you want? Will the eventual cost of manufacturing align with the target market’s preferred price point? Does the product function like you want? The most cost-effective way to get these answers is to build a prototype.
Testing just your idea is not enough. Once you have a prototype, you need to get it in the hands of real people. In most cases, you can do this in a focus group setting, but some products—like the aforementioned beach chair—are better tested in the setting in which they’re intended to be used. Your goal is to determine whether people like your product and whether they note any deficiencies you can fix. While response surveys are typically a good measure of excitement levels, you can also ask people whether they would be willing to buy your product right now. Give them the opportunity to put a small amount down; if they’re willing to buy before the product is even on the market, you may have a real winner.
Like many people who are in—or are considering getting into—product development, you may already have a marketing degree or business degree. But that doesn’t have to be the end of your education. With the right certificate program, you can enhance your knowledge and gain deeper understanding of specific aspects of business marketing. If you’re interested in developing successful new products, one of the best marketing certificates you can earn is a Graduate Certificate in Brand and Product Marketing.
Another advantage of choosing to earn a graduate certificate is that you can participate in classes through an online university. With online learning, you don’t have to drive across town and sit through classes at specific times. Instead, online certificate programs allow you to learn from home on a flexible schedule you can tailor to your needs. Whether you’re a marketing manager looking to advance your career or you’re planning to enter the product management field for the first time, online certificate courses make it more possible than ever before to achieve your goals.
Launching a new product is difficult. But online marketing courses and business certificate programs can help you learn how to develop and introduce products that succeed.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online Graduate Certificate in Brand and Product Marketing. Expand your career options and earn your certificate or degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*J. Schneider and J. Hall, Why Most Product Launches Fail, Harvard Business Review, on the internet at https://hbr.org/2011/04/why-most-product-launches-fail.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.