Launching a new product can provide a huge boost to your business. It gives your existing customers a new way to spend money with you; it provides a lure to bring new customers into your business; it’s a hook for a marketing campaign that can boost your profile, and the public, visible success of a project like a new product launch can do your brand lasting good.
The risks that come with such an ambitious undertaking almost counterbalance the benefits. If your new product doesn’t find an audience, it can cost you a lot in lost investment in design, research, manufacturing, storage and marketing. Apart from the material cost, you need to consider the impact on your brand of a public failure. Launching a new product amid a big fanfare only to have poor reviews and sales can harm your reputation, causing a drop in the popularity of even tried and tested products.
As with many things, the key to success when you’re launching a new product is data, and you need to start gathering and using that data a long way in advance of your launch day.
Before you even start your design process, a programme of market research can help you to identify gaps in the market – areas where customers are waiting for the opportunity to spend money. If you try to launch a new product in a crowded sector, you have to work hard to distinguish it from established rivals. If you’ve identified an under-served area of the market, your new product has space to shine!
You can continue injecting research and data design process with multiple phases of concept development and testing. This means getting real feedback from consumers – not people in your business with a pre-existing understanding of the field and a stake in your success! – and incorporating their feedback into multiple iterations of prototypes and designs. Concept testing initially might involve nothing more ensuring customers can understand the value of a new product in the niche you’re targeting, whether it’s a new kind of savings account, receipt management software or kitchen cleaning equipment! If they don’t see why it’s useful, you need to think again and make sure you’re working towards a product that customers will be enthusiastic about spending money on.
This iterative approach to design allows you to gradually optimise what you’re offering so it appeals to the maximum number of people, most effectively, and while there are no guarantees in the world business, this can help you feel confident about the success of your new product.