The release of a new product could be a huge opportunity for your business. It could bring you new customers, a big boost in revenue and the growth of your brand. It’s an event you can hang a big marketing push on, raising your profile in the eyes of consumers for months to come – if it goes well.
The product has to be right – if you bring a product to the market that customers can’t afford, don’t want or already have, it can fail to find an audience. This means failing to make back the cost of development and manufacture, and damage to your brand. If you demonstrate in public that you don’t really know what your customers want it doesn’t just mean failure for that specific new product, it also makes people question whether the rest of your offering can really be founded on expertise.
The key to success is partly to be found in your product development process. If you’re using the right tools, techniques and principles you can feel confident that you are designing a product that stands the best chance of success when it encounters customers, even if it’s impossible to guarantee success for any product!
The most important thing you can do is commit to using data to inform your design process. If you’re not basing your designs and concepts on data about what consumers want from businesses in your industry, then the success of your new product comes down to little more than luck. You should never mistake your own experience and insight for objective facts about the industry, and if you’re not at least checking your intuition against research then you’re running a big risk.
A market research company can get you not just data, but also the interpretation and insight that tells you where the gaps in the market are, and what concepts customers are just waiting to spend their money on.
While you might already be planning to test prototypes with focus groups to make sure you’re designing a product, it could already be too late. You need to test the concepts you’re generating to make sure your customers can see the value in them. If you commit to developing a product that customers simply don’t see the point of buying, there’s no amount of marketing you can do to create an audience for it, but if you’ve checked and tested your designs at every stage, you can feel confident that you’re launching a product that will find an enthusiastic market and boost your reputation and revenue!