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How to avoid a failed product launch


History remembers many unsuccessful product launches even from large and successful brands. For example, perfume from Zippo, marinade from 7-Up or cheese sauce from manufacturers Arizona Tea. This usually happens due to a lack of understanding of the client, competitor and / or category. Here’s how to avoid it.

How to avoid a failed product launch

Yana Nosenko

The decision to launch new products and categories under an existing brand must be financially sound and strategically beneficial to the business. They must also meet the needs of buyers.

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Apple has successfully moved from making phones to laptops, and Nike from shoes to various sports products. That is why it is important to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and understand what he expects from the brand. To do this, you can use a perception map.

Infographics: Sid Khaitan

“A brand is just a perception, and perception over time will correspond to reality,” – Elon Musk.

Do your research

To look at the problem through the eyes of the buyer, you need to do research. Here’s what to keep in mind for a comprehensive market research.

  • Four focus groups or a sample of at least 100 people (online survey).
  • Statistical research plan (list of questions with context).
  • One or two verification questions (are you using social media or are you familiar with Brand X?).
  • 5 brands in the industry (based on existing knowledge, quick online search or initial survey).
  • 5-7 behavioral questions (activities related to the category, such as the devices used to log into social networks, or the amount of time spent online).
  • 7-9 brand attributes (functional and emotional perception of each brand on the Likert scale, for example, “this site meets all my social needs”).

Define and rate the category

It’s time to find out what people think about social media brands. After factor analysis, we can plot the brand coordinates on the map.

Infographics: Sid Khaitan

Each logo and vector is associated with the characteristic features of the brand or the attitude of the client towards it (“Doesn’t make my life easier”, “Too specialized”, “Easy to use”). Arrows are vectors that describe the increase or decrease of a particular feature. It is comparative preference that serves as a key indicator for product optimization.

Comparative preferences. Clustering of closely spaced brands in the sector. Infographics: Sid Khaitan

With this information, we can group brands by general sector. Clustering allows us to define the relationship between competitors and add axis descriptions.

Rethink your development strategy

Positioning changes should be based on data and research. In some ways, this process is similar to personal rethinking.

For a strategic launch or expansion of the assortment, you need to clearly understand in which direction to develop and which tools to use.

Let’s say you’re on Pinterest and want to improve your brand perception and user base. How not to become like Tumblr, but move towards Facebook and Instagram?

Consider customer preferences

To do this, you need to assess what the client wants from a particular category and find flaws in it. This is where spatial representation comes in handy. Changing the positioning on the map will require strategic X and Y shifts.

Infographics: Sid Khaitan

Vectors show that in 2017, survey respondents thought Pinterest was too specialized and not cool enough. To change perceptions, the brand had to reinvent itself.

Now the resource has 459 million active users and 20% of all visits to social networks in the United States. 77% of the audience is over 30 years old. In other words, the team achieved their goal.

Marketing research can seem expensive, time consuming, and not always predictable. However, building a perception map can be an excellent tool for planning further development strategies. It allows you to:

  • receive information about competitors,
  • predict consumer behavior,
  • identify product pain points and properties that do not correspond to the market,

  • combine business and brand goals,

  • demonstrate strategic vision both internally and externally.

A source.

Cover photo: Jirapong Manustrong / Shutterstock

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