Marketing a new product can be a daunting task, even to the most hardened, seasoned veterans of marketing.
When marketing an existing product or a new release related to an existing product, you already have some advantages. It has a reputation; the public is familiar with it. When it comes to something novel, you have to overcome the issue of people being ‘unaware’ of its existence.
This is especially true when it comes to a completely revolutionary product that has no competitors. For example, it would be tough to market a totally new kind of soft drink, such as ‘chocolate lime soda,’ vs a derivative of Coca Cola like ‘Coke Zero’ (or even a type of ‘Cola’ unrelated to the brand). One soft drink has a brand, a history and a reputation to build off of, while the other doesn’t.
Although I can’t give you a quick, end-all solution that guarantees your new product will succeed, I can give you some general tips that will make it far less intimidating to get the ball rolling.
#1 – Overcoming Lack of Recognition
I spent a decent part of the introduction pointing out ‘recognition’ as the biggest hurdle to marketing new products and this is for a reason. A lack of ‘recognition’ is a leading cause of failure for new product launches from startups (or even established companies).
How do you fix this? Spread the word; Give out samples, trials and brochures. Let people experience the product at no expense or obligation. Allow them to discover that you’ve got what they need, even if they don’t know they need it.
People will probably not pay to try a new product they’ve never heard of, but if it’s free, they have little to lose. Market, advertise, publish and get out there in order to overcome the ‘recognition’ barrier.
#2 – Awareness
Awareness of your product to customers (and companies) is vital to success, and social networking is the way to get there.
Tweeting and publishing facts about your product on Tumblr, Reddit and Pinterest literally guarantees that many people will see your product, your brand and your image- without pushing it down their throats. People are programmed to ignore advertising when it looks like a blatant promotion of a product, so you need to disguise it as something they would interpret as fun, useful, or interesting. Social networks are gobbled up by most people, so make sure to utilize these channels.
#3 – Surveys
Survey the people who try your product, survey the people who read your social channels, survey the people who sign up for emails… Always have a call to action available that encourages people to respond and add input about your product. Feedback will help you understand your product and target audience. Based on surveys you can adjust your product and tweak your marketing strategy to better fit the needs of your customer.
New products are challenging to market. They face additional hurdles to those of ‘recognized’ products. Some of my tips may seem a tad obvious, but if you follow them you will be well on your way to successfully marketing a new product.