My new product isn’t selling! Now what?

by Sean Boyce
Product Marketing Frustration

After many months – perhaps even longer – of creating a product that you believed would revolutionize your industry, you’ve launched it with underwhelming success. Naturally you are disappointed, but rather than wallow in self-pity, or throw in the towel altogether, what you really should be doing is a reevaluation with the purpose of discovering what went wrong. The simplest way to do this is to ask yourself a few questions.

Is the product unique enough to compete?

Most new products use previous technologies as a basis, then add functionality and features that older iterations didn’t possess. These improvements should make the product much more attractive to consumers. If that is not the case, then other elements such as the pricing structure must compensate buyers for trying your brand over an established company. If your product is completely new and different and sales aren’t happening then the first, albeit uncomfortable, question that should be addressed is whether there’s actually a market for it.

Did you include input from potential buyers in the creation process?

You‘re quite the genius for inventing a vacuum cleaner that also walks the family dog; but does anybody really want that, and more importantly, are they willing to pay for it? If you did not get sufficient input from potential buyers before launching your product then you were only guessing as to what people actually want. This is true whether the product is an improvement on an existing option or a totally new innovation. Even if the primary feature you are offering is a more affordable price, that price point is best determined through surveying people who are likely to buy.

Is the product easy to understand?

In the digital world, great emphasis is placed upon “UX” – User Experience. This concept can and should be applied to every type of product. If you’ve created something that’s hard for your clients to use, it doesn’t matter how useful it is. They probably will give up trying to use it. An even worse scenario is when you haven’t properly explained the benefits and features of a product to the point where a buyer asks, “Tell me again why I need this.” 

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Is your marketing missing the target?

Retail giant John Wanamaker once lamented, “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is I don’t know WHICH half.” These days our data-driven society makes it much easier to reach the right potential buyers, so much so that we may have too much information and too many promotional opportunities. Business owners might be inclined to throw a lot of money into a marketing budget to try to reach every corner of the market. Conversely, confusion might result in an overly cautious marketing plan and a budget that’s too small to have any effect.

These questions are merely the first step in discovering how to repair whatever is ailing your product marketing. If you need help repositioning your product successfully, email Sean at NxtStep: hello@nxtstep.io

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