Are You Testing Your Products the Right Way?
7 Mistakes That Can Sink Your Product Launch – and How to Avoid Them
People love to say, “If you build it, they will come.” This line carried a lot of weight in Field of Dreams, but what the 1989 baseball classic fails to address with this statement is that they won’t come if they don’t like it.
For companies launching a product to their target customers, the process is far from as simple as “if you make it, they will buy it.” But if you execute your product development process so that it’s infused with the customer’s voice, they will like it – and they will buy it.
Avoid These Pitfalls to Ensure a Successful Product Launch
Ensure your product development process goes smoothly and results in a highly-informed product launch. Here are 7 product creation mistakes that can sink your product launch.
1. Skimping on the Research Phase. Research helps you identify market opportunities or validate an existing concept, and ideally sets the course of your product development based on relevant market information and customer insights.
Like rushing to market, failing to properly research your customers’ needs means you’re relying on assumptions. Even the most tuned-in product teams need valuable research to help shape their product right from the concept stage to avoid a big flop at launch.
2. Ignoring Customer Feedback. If the feedback you get from target users isn’t quite what you were expecting, it can be tempting to simply ignore it and forge ahead. It’s understandable – we all want our product to be great and it’s hard to realize it may not be there yet.
Instead of letting less-than-favorable feedback discourage you, double-down on your product development with the knowledge that your final product will be just what your users want and need.
3. Ignoring the Customer. Product creation that is a reflection of your customer as well as your brand is not only important, but expected in today’s customer landscape. Innovation and technology have made it easier to understand your customers and embed their preferences and expectations right into your product development process.
Applying product research to customer pain points, needs and expectations allows your organization to take control of product development decisions and ensure your product isn’t something you just think your customers want, but something you actually know they want.
4. Failing to Consider the Usability of Your Product. Just because you’ve designed a rain jacket that’s highly waterproof doesn’t mean the product is ready for market. There are other expectations your consumers have from a rain jacket that would influence their buying decision.
For example, is the material breathable during activity? How durable is the face fabric? Gathering this type of performance feedback is critical to create a final product that not only performs its core function (to keep customers dry), but fulfills their other demands as well.
5. Keeping Your Product too Close to Your Chest. It’s understandable that you may be apprehensive about sharing your initial product concept since it’s still in the very early stages of development. You may have concerns about maintaining security around your product and process. However, the alternatives are to avoid getting feedback or to wait to gather feedback until the product is closer to finished. These paths are also problematic – you may be wasting time and money developing a near-finished product only to find it’s not what your customers actually want.
Instead, use a secure platform to gather feedback early on in the product development process. You’ll be able to protect proprietary information while receiving valuable feedback toward creating a customer-centric finished product. The benefits will pay off at launch.
6. Launching and Walking Away. Your product launch is an opportunity to continue improving upon the customer experience. You’ll want to track your customer metrics, follow reviews and stay on top of inventory and sales. Being informed about your post-launch activity can make the difference between moving forward with your flotation-device rain jacket or moving in a different direction.
Along that same line, testing in-line product can be just as valuable as testing prototypes. Launched products can undergo valuable style or performance updates once the product has matured or plateaued in its life cycle.
7. Resisting Another Try. It’s like the saying goes: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. You may find yourself faced with significant changes to your product that can make it feel like you’re moving backwards. However, customer feedback and product or fit testing help avoid post-launch problems that are even more costly and frustrating. Taking the time to act on feedback before going to market is smart, and will ensure a better product in the end.
Avoiding these 7 mistakes can keep your products on target and minimize risks and misses. An effective way to streamline and enhance your product development process is to use a product research and testing platform that can add value through each phase.
To learn more about the MESH01 Platform, contact us.