In an environment where up to 70% of new products fail to meet market expectations, effectual innovation isn’t necessarily tied to the “perfect” product.
Reaching customers means launching products that easily blend into the real life of the buyer, striking the right mix of value, familiarity and ultimately, ease. How can companies make sure they are launching new products that will be readily adopted by customers? Consider these 3 key points:
Customers make buying decisions based on the potential for solved problems. Does your product add actual value for customers? How is it making their lives easier? Before launching products, organizations must build intelligence about customer pain points and determine whether the new product pipeline is addressing real life, day-to-day business problems. Failing to take this step could result in an unfortunate (and costly) missed opportunity.
The value of familiarity, even nostalgia, in branding has been proven over and over. Repeat buying decisions are directly tied to products that predictably do what customers need them to do. However, familiarity can help or hurt your products: when organizations try to gain a competitive advantage with an unnecessary radical change, it can feel suddenly foreign to loyal customers but when products are modernized or altered to better solve a customer problem or need, change is effective.
An example of designing based on what’s familiar, or even habitual, is the Febreze brand. The original Febreze bottle was packaged like a traditional glass cleaner, resulting in customers tucking it away with other cleaning products. When the packaging was redesigned with more visibility in mind, purchases ultimately increased. Keeping in step with real-world buying behavior requires clear discernment about whether a product is aligned with the needs of your customers, not just trends.
The success of new products stems from customers making the easiest choice, not the perfect choice. Ideally, customers shouldn’t have to think very hard when making the decision to buy your new product. Research shows that the human brain prefers automaticity over making conscious choices, meaning it likes to repeat the same behavior over and over again. At the core, consumers are naturally seduced by the ease that accompanies products that identify with real-life problems, needs or interests. At the end of the day, the decision to choose a product should be made as easy as possible.
Before launching new products, step into the real lives of your customers. There is no hard rule: value, embracing or evolving from familiarity and ease of buying are all part of an ever-changing balancing act. Ultimately, considering these three key components means your organization will be in a stronger position to maximize new product success.