5 New Product Rules Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Consumers are truly creatures of habit. In fact, the average family purchases the same 150 products again and again, which accounts for a whopping 85 percent of all needs, according to a study conducted by Harvard Business School. Of course, that means when a new product appears on the market, its got to somehow work its way into those recurring purchases. It’s no secret that consumers are quite brand-loyal, so, this presents an even larger challenge. When you stop to consider your own purchasing habits, you begin to realize just how loyal you are to certain brands. Carving out market share is difficult enough, but, even more so when a product comes from an unknown or relatively new source.

5 New Product Rules every Entrepreneur should Know

There are some 250,000 new product launches globally on average, per year. Obviously, very few make it past the first couple of years, as clearly evidenced by the nearby quote. What’s more, companies often fail to recoup development costs. In the grocery industry alone, the failure rate is even higher, ranging from 70 percent to 80 percent, according to research done at the University of Toronto.

…the fact remains that the success rates of new product introductions and innovations have improved little over the last 20 years. Booz & Company reports 66 percent of new products fail within two years, and Doblin Group says a startling 96 percent of all innovations fail to return their cost of capital. —Fast Company

For small-sized American food businesses, the success rate is even more sparse, coming-in at just 11 percent, which regulates an eye-popping 89 percent to failure. The top culprits of failure are poor product quality and design, but overestimating demand, bad pricing and timing, as well as incorrect positioning also make the list. The statistics go on and on when it comes to new product failure, so, it’s important to know what makes products get past their introduction to the public and sell. Here are five new product rules every entrepreneur should know and follow:

  • It must have at least one solid advantage. There are several advantages a product can have and among the most persuasive are value for the money, prestige, effectiveness, convenience, and high-quality. If you look over this list again, you’ll find at the heart of all these is providing for want and need. For instance, the iPhone revolutionized the mobile phone industry — it fulfills a need, is a high-quality product, and provides many conveniences.
  • The product must fit into consumers’ routines. If a product won’t easily fit into consumers’ routines, it won’t sell on the market. A product must be able to accommodate buyers’ routines because, as mentioned above, people are creatures of habit. Some products are able to break this rule, but these are few and far between.
  • It’s got to work right out-of-the-box. American consumers love convenience, and, are very annoyed when a new product proves to be anything but convenient. Most people cringe at the phrase “some assembly required,” because of past experiences. Make a product that works right out-of-the-box and it has a much better chance of success.
  • The benefits should be obvious to consumers. When consumers can readily identify the benefits of a product, they are more likely to buy it. Stop to consider the last time you were shopping for a specific type of item and compared brands. It’s highly probable you purchased the one you could easily spot its benefits.
  • It can be given away for nothing (or part of a promotion). The Clorox company began marketing its first cleaning products to businesses and this approach failed. However, one owner’s wife saw that it had marvelous residential use potential. She gave small bottles of it away and soon after, sales skyrocketed. When consumers are given the opportunity to “test drive” products for free or at a low cost, they are more apt to purchasing it again and again.

Though these elements will all increase the chance of success for a new product, it’s important to understand the market and to have an executable plan to be successful.

We have several Clients that have new and innovative products that are succeeding because they have followed these five rules. Let us know your new product ideas and make certain yours meets these five new product rules.

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