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StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

Roads to Recovery After a Failed Product Launch

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Working hard, taking risks, and failing nonetheless is a part of life – and it’s certainly a part of business life. The failure tastes especially sour when you’ve fired up an entire bottle of midnight oil and invested all of your energy and resources into the launch of this product, just to see it crash-land as soon as it’s unleashed.

Although most successful businesses today have experienced a few spectacular disasters through their life, all of them managed to pick themselves up and keep pushing forward. Their failure made them robust and innovative; learn from their mistakes and bounce back after the miserable product launch as well, stronger than ever.

Analyze the situation

When you’ve put your mind into recovering and not losing hope quite yet, the first thing you should do is to gather as much data as possible. You can learn so much from the way your product or service was received – and sometimes, you might even find that it was never a problem with your product in the first place.

It may have been the marketing strategy, how you presented it to the market, and whether or not you managed to communicate its purpose properly. A business can launch an exceptional product that should have been well-received, only to realize that the target group never really understood its benefits.

Talk to your customers

Reach out to a few of your customers and find out what they disliked about the product. This is the first step to recovery and a potential recipe for re-launching it with greater success than ever. Send out a survey in a newsletter and offer some form of reimbursement for taking the time to answer your questions – such as a discount or similar, and gather as much data from this as possible.

By looking at their answers, you may find that there was, in fact, something wrong with the product that should be fixed. Maybe you find that you never reached the people who could have loved the product, and you should find room for improvement with the product launch instead. Finally, it could have been challenges around the market you targeted that kept your product from soaring.

Improve the product

With the amount of data you have and the feedback you’ve received from your market, it’s time to get back to the drawing table. Sometimes, you need to make major changes to the product or service, and many business owners before you have scrapped the idea altogether when they understood the costs. You can easily apply for some of the best small business loans to improve your product and make the money back, though, so don’t let this stop you.

Implement the changes and present the new and improved product to the ones you’ve surveyed earlier. Explain that you have considered their opinions and tried to improve it before asking them to try it out and give some final feedback.

Maybe you still need to improve it – or maybe you’ve learned from your mistakes and created something brilliantly useful.

A failed product launch doesn’t have to mean disaster, especially not when so many successful companies have failed miserably just to grow stronger within a short year. The key to success is, of course, to analyze your mistakes and learn from them the best you can, giving the market exactly what they need in the end.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Test-Running A New Business Idea

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Max Pixel

Having a new business idea can be exciting, but before pouring all your time and money into it you should first test it out to see what it’s like in practice. A test run will establish any improvements that may need to be made to your business model, as well as providing essential audience research and feedback that you can then use to more effectively market your business. Here are just a few ways to give your product the best trial run possible.

Build a proto-type/test service

You don’t have to produce a full working business model just yet. Testing out the fundamentals is the most important part. If you’re thinking of starting a cake shop, try renting a stall out first for a day and sell your produce from there. If you’re selling a physical product, find a prototype manufacturer such as this sheet metal fabrication business that can produce a cheap and quick prototype. If you’re producing software, create a basic alpha version for testers to use.

Start marketing early

It’s okay to start marketing your product before it actually exists. By telling people that you’re ‘coming soon’ you can build up excitement that will help when you launch your business for real. Set up a website and social media pages and invite people to check them out. You should be able to get an idea of the demand for your product by how people react.

Use your close network

Family and friends can be useful to use when testing your business. They may be able to help you run a stall at a trade fair, preventing the need to think about hiring staff just yet. They may be able to act as a first client, allowing you to test your service out on them and get feedback. They can also help to spread news of your business idea via word of mouth.

Use a focus group of strangers

When it comes to constructive feedback, friends and family may not always offer the brutally honest criticism that you need. Organising a focus group of strangers and pitching your idea to them can be a way of seeing how your business idea will really get on in the market. Positive feedback can be used to help promote your business idea, whilst negative feedback can be used to tweak your business idea and make improvements.

Offer freebies

Don’t be too concerned about making money just yet – you’re still improving your business model. Right now you’re looking to simply test your business idea on as many people as possible, so entice them in by offering your services for free. If you’re hoping to start a restaurant, give people free tasters of your food. If you’re hoping to provide a fitness coaching service, offer people the chance of trial lessons. People are more likely to give constructive and friendly advice if you’re not asking money from them. Don’t be afraid to survey people after about how much they would pay for your service.

Brian Goodman

How to Launch a Product Like a Rock Star

Here’s a quick one-question quiz: What is the most important requirement for a successful product launch?

a.     A great product
b.     A market that wants a great product (Product-Market Fit)
c.     A great distribution plan to sell it
d.     A well formulated Go-To-Market Strategy
e.     All of the above

In a perfect launch, all of these components are vital to a successful launch. So by that logic, “e” would be the correct answer.

But of course, we don’t live in a world of perfect launches. Not even Samsung — which has had some amazing launches — gets it right every time. Most companies, whether start-ups or long-time players live in a world shaped by the laws of demand where low pricing can trump quality, and where targeted marketing, carefully crafted keywords, and social media engineering can build awareness, influence opinion, and generate sales.


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About the Author

Brian GoodmanBrian Goodman is Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Technossus, a rapidly growing enterprise-class software solutions and technology consulting firm that assists business leaders to accelerate change and deliver sustainable results. Brian has more than 16 years of strategic and operational responsibilities, with a successful record of building and expanding enterprises, from early-stage to divisions of leading international corporations across the professional services and software sectors. Recognized by OC Metro in its “40 Under 40” feature on rising stars in the business world for “breaking new ground,” Brian has become a business thought leader who is frequently quoted in the media and featured on business radio programs. He began his career in the software industry as a corporate attorney focused on private-equity financing and technology transactions, serving as senior corporate counsel at Paciolan, Inc. (acquired by Ticketmaster) and corporate counsel at internet and software company, AltaVista (acquired by Yahoo!).