Most new products fail. This is around 80%, according to professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. In some sectors, the failure rate is higher than in others, with over 90% of new consumer products failing. What is reason for failure?
“A lot of it is down to a lack of preparation,” Chris Rigby of Invogue Incentives explains. “Much of the focus is, typically, on designing and manufacturing the product, which can then mean leaving it too late to properly prepare it for market.”
Chris suggests that, for manufacturers, the figures could, in fact, be a cause for cautious optimism.
“If the main reason for failure is a lack of promotion, then it can mean the products themselves are, largely, sound. What manufacturers then need are ways of raising awareness.”
Markets and Goals
It is crucial that manufacturers understand their target market. This may be consumers, but it might also be brands or investors, or even other manufacturers.
“There are plenty of niche, specialist manufacturers out there who supply bigger companies with essential components. For them, they may have something of huge potential value, but not the means to market it effectively”
Manufacturers must work out who their products appeal to, and understand who and where their competition is. This goes hand in hand with having clear business goals.
“Before development, you want to have a clear idea of your sales and growth plan. This will help you with your eventual product launch.”
Marketing and Your Product Launch
Your marketing plan should enable you to maximise your reach, and therefore your success.
It can involve advertising through selected channels, and using social media. But it may also mean having a product launch event.
“The product launch is not simply an event, but a process. This means that while it involves an event, it also must involve planning, execution and, critically, a follow-up”
Once you have established the goals of your product launch, you can then look at your tactics.
“You must consider leverage. What can you include in your launch that will influence its success?” asks Chris. “One key thing is to get people talking about it. And one way of getting people talking is through memorable merchandise.”
“The right kind of promotional merchandise that is both bespoke to, and appropriate for, the product, can help it lodge in the minds of your target audience”
Not only this, but effective promotional merchandise has a good retention rate.
“There are items that are practical, such as stationery, bags and pen drives, that people hang on to. This gives your launch a lingering promotional power that extends long past the launch event itself.”
“Customising your promotional merchandise is a way of making it stick, of giving it a kind of signature flourish to help establish your credentials and that of your product,” Chris concludes.
What manufacturers should then consider is what promotional merchandise will help launch their products. And what will make it unique to them.
For an additional read, please visit: