Imagine your typical trip to the grocery store.

Looking down at your shopping list, you think about the best way to navigate the store and gather your groceries.

As you walk down the aisles filled with hundreds of items, you’ll notice that you usually purchase the same products and brands over-and-over again.

The reality is that American families, on average, repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which represent as much as 85 percent of their household needs, according to Harvard Business Review. Consumers are creatures of habit and it is hard to get something new on their radar, which is why most product launches fail.

Most new product launches fail at gaining the attention of customers, which has the potential to negatively impact revenues. In fact, less than 3% of new consumer packaged goods exceed first-year sales of $50 million – considered to be the benchmark of a highly successful product launch.

So how can marketers assure that the conditions for success are in place for a product launch?

1. Focus on the development of a game-changer product

According to a Nielsen shoppers’ study, affordability, convenience, brand power, and novelty are the top drivers for purchasing new products.

If the new product has a good price, is related to a recognized brand, and placed in the right stores, it has a much greater chance of gaining the consumer’s attention and becoming a launch success. However, before thinking about the price, promotion, and distribution, a unique product needs to be created. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be a revolutionary product, but something that will make the customer’s life easier.

Create a new product that has a purpose; that will bring value to the personal or professional lives of consumers. Your product has to have a unique differentiator. The key is to focus on the consumer’s needs, in a way that gives them a reason to care, a reason to buy, a reason to advocate for your product and brand.

2. Create a compelling Story

As consumers, we certainly don’t know the whole truth about the things we buy, recommend, and use. What we do know, and what we talk about, is our Story: our story about why we choose a brand or advocate for it; our story about the origin of our buying decision, the personal utility gained, and the emotional impact of our purchase.

Companies seem almost defiant in their preference to stick with their current guesswork of what they think might work from a “brand strategy” or “product marketing” perspective vs. delving into the mind of their customers. Compelling stories resonate when the audience can put themselves at the center of the story. In other words, the customer is the hero, and the story is about their journey, with your brand as the guide to help them navigate that journey successfully because of what your product or service can do for them.

Make the customer the hero of your story.

– Ann Handley, MarketingProfs

3. Create winning strategies for profitable customer experiences

Creating a profitable customer experience means that marketing must develop the specific content, offers, and messages that are delivered at each touchpoint in the Customer BuyWay. Touchpoints include each and every customer interaction, from the first visit to your website to meeting with a salesperson to contacting customer service to renewing a contract to advocating for your brand.

The right strategy should ensure that your story reaches your customers – in formats that they consume and through channels that they use.

This is why it is really important to identify and define your target customers. This involves a segmentation of your target audience and the creation of ideal customer profiles, or buyer personas. These personas are based not only on customer and internal stakeholder interviews but also quantitative survey data and customer behavioral analytics.

4. Align the Systems to flawlessly execute the Strategy

It’s always important to educate consumers about the new product and help them understand the value that the new product will bring to their daily lives.

The next essential component in preparing for a new product launch is to align the systems in such a way that will enable you to flawlessly execute your strategy. Systems include the business processes, measurement systems, and organizational capabilities required to deliver, track, and manage the entire customer experience.

Let’s face it: new product development is risky business. Consumers demand product innovation and expect more options than ever before. However, it is harder than ever to win customers over. Today’s marketers need to assure that the conditions for product launch success are in place to position new products at the #TopRight corner of the market.

Learn how to integrate TopRight’s 3S methodology to bring simplicity, clarity, and alignment to your brand’s marketing efforts in our latest eBook Transformational Marketing: Moving to the TopRight.

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