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Launching a Product? Avoid These 3 Critical Mistakes

Blank white background with the words “Coming soon!” written with a Sharpie, showing a product on its way to market

You had a great idea for a product, spent years designing, developing, and improving it, and cannot wait to finally get it to the marketplace. Before you do reveal your great idea to the world, you want to give it the best chance to succeed.

There are any number of ways a product launch can fail, but with a little bit of forethought, most of them are avoidable. Here are three of the biggest traps companies fall into when launching a new product or service.

Failure to test

You’ve been developing this product for a long time, and the whole team loves it. The problem is that you might be too close to be objective about it. The only way to know how the market will respond is to test it. No matter how brilliant your idea is, ultimately the real test of its success is whether or not customers are willing to pay for it. Everything else is speculation. Would you rather find out that you need to make changes after a full launch, or while you still have time to fix anything that might limit sales?

But that’s just one aspect of testing. You may also find out that while customers do like your product enough to pay for it, they may like it even more if it had different features, came in a variety of colors, etc. Don’t assume you know what’s best for the market. Let them tell you. 

Ineffective marketing

It is almost a cliche in the marketing world to say that people don’t buy products -  they buy results.

Yet it’s surprising how many companies fail to demonstrate the results, or benefits, that their products will supposedly offer customers. If you’ve created a quality product, make sure you let people know what benefits or results they can expect by buying and using it. Don’t assume that it’s obvious.

Most people are too busy with their own lives to take the time to figure out why your widget is going to make their lives better. It’s your job to communicate specifically how it will impact them and why they should spend their hard-earned money on it.

Being unprepared for success

Most businesses are afraid of their product dying right out of the gate. But what if your product is so successful that your supply chain cannot keep up with orders?

If your marketing strategy has convinced the consumer to say yes only to find out that your product is on backorder for months, it’s really easy for them to buy from a competitor, decide to wait and then forget about you, or simply come to the conclusion later on that they do not want or need it.

But worse than all of that is this: the reason the customer was going to buy from you in the first place is because you’d earned their trust. If your product is then unavailable, you’ve lost that trust. Buying decisions are often made in the moment, and all the good you did with marketing can be destroyed by your inability to deliver the goods.

There is always a lot on the line when a new product comes to market. You owe it to yourself and your company to give it every possible chance to succeed. For more, read our post “5 Expert Tips for Launching Your Product on Time.”

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