When you create a new product you can’t help but be proud of it. It probably wouldn’t be a stretch to even say you love your product. And why wouldn’t you? It’s your baby! It was hard work, time, and energy that brought it into existence. Your blood, sweat, and tears created it. Think about what it took…
You carried out extensive market research. You took a long look at what your competitors were offering and found a gap in the market into which your product could fill. Many dedicated countless hours went into research and development. And, you ’ll never forget the feeling of holding the prototype in your hands for the first time. You sculpted and shaped every facet of it in line with what you know about your customers’ wants and needs…
Yet, for some unfathomable reason, your product launch went with a whimper rather than a bang. You sold a reasonable number of units but your customers, for whatever reason, haven’t embraced your product as you thought they might. This is an understandably worrying time for you. Having poured a lot of your heart and soul into the product’s development and launch it’s likely an emotional blow as well. You’re probably wondering whether to try and stick this out or cut your losses. Is it time to let your product go the way of other famous product fails. You know, the Facebook phone, Google glass or New Coca Cola.
As tempting as it may feel to give up, you owe it to yourself to find out the reasons why your customers just aren’t purchasing your product. If you find out why you can make some changes and turn your product into the success story it deserves to be.
Here are some of the possible answers as to why your customers don’t love your product and what you can do about it.
They don’t like the packaging
It may sound trivial, but seriously, packaging matters. Arguably it matters now more than ever. If you made rushed decisions with your packaging for the sake of getting your product ready for launch on time this can impact negatively on public perception of your product.
In an era of unboxing videos (which have, according to YouTube jumped over 50% in popularity since 2016) where product reviews tend to incorporate at least a mention of the packaging, decisions pertaining to packaging can’t be rushed or arbitrary. If you feel your packaging may not be up to par, you may want to spend time looking at websites like CLSmith.com. Looking at these sites you can get ideas for unique custom packaging.
When considering packaging it’s not just aesthetic choices that need to be borne in mind. We live in an era where people are more aware than ever of the difference their consumer choices can have on the environment. Thus, consumers, especially younger consumers, are increasingly gravitating towards recyclable, biodegradable and sustainable packaging. You’ll want to consider this when making changes to your pack design.
Your competitors are getting in your way
Products can fail when they are too similar to something else your competitors already offer. This is why extensive market research is such an important part of the development process. Remember Microsoft’s Zune? Yeah, that’s why it ’s a prime example.
They were so obsessed with creating a product that rivaled Apple’s iPod they rushed through the process. They failed to create a product that improved upon the iPod’s basic premise. By all means, launch a product that competes with something your competitors offer but ensure that consumers know why they should choose your product over theirs.
Of course, another way in which your competitors can get in the way is because their product is simply more visible online than yours. In this instance, you need to take steps to improve your SEO. Blog about your product. Write guest posts on other people’s blogs. Make appearances on podcasts or at speaking events to tell people why you’re excited about your product. Build links to your product page from high authority sources. All of these things will organically boost your SEO or capitalize on the surge in awareness that can be created with a robust pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
Influencers aren’t on your side
Many brands launch an all-out marketing blitz when it comes to their product launch. But there’s one aspect of marketing which is all-too-often missed by brands. It’s influencer marketing. Influencer marketing gives you all of the benefits of a celebrity endorsement at a fraction of the price.
Whatever demographics make up your target audience, there’s a good chance somebody out there influences their consumer behavior. Most people have someone they admire and whose persona resonates with them personally. Someone whose opinions and insights they respect and trust. For many younger consumers, social media influencers are much more influential than celebrities. They are a degree less removed from their own lives than musicians and movie stars and their opinions feel more “real” to them.
Influencers can be a great, cost-effective way of getting your target market excited about your product, boosting interest and sales. However, if you haven’t made efforts to get influencers on your side, you risk missing out on sales from a demographic who do not respond to traditional marketing materials.
It’s too expensive
You wouldn’t be the first business to not quite get the price point right at the time of launch. It’s a fine balancing act that is usually based on the cost of developing and making each unit plus an intended profit margin. But the typical income of your target market should also influence your pricing. You may, at least at first, find it’s worth taking a slight hit on your per-unit margin if it means making your product more affordable to those who have the most need of it.
While higher pricing can lend your product an air of prestige, it can also alienate some consumers if they don’t perceive value in that extra spend. Making your product more affordable (even if just for a limited time) can help to generate more buzz around it.
The great news is, for whatever reason customers aren’t as on board with your product as they should be, there are ways in which it can influence and change their viewpoint. You can do this without having to start all over and go back to the drawing board. Get feedback and follow these strategies and you’ll have customers loving your product almost as much as you do. Here’s to YOUR success!
Carolyn R. Owens has over 25 years of proven experience and serves as a Career Strategist, Executive and Leadership Coach. She is the President of Infinity Coaching, Inc. where she can help you up-level your skills, so you can up-level your income, career, business or life. Infinity Coaching, Inc. provides coaching, organizational training, personality assessments, and a signature program, the Infinity Coaching Inner Circle. Carolyn is certified to give both The Energy Leadership Index Assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. You can find out more about both assessments and other products and services at http://www.infinitycoaching.net.