Will Your New Product Succeed or Fail?

You’ve got a great idea, and a brilliant marketing campaign, looks like all is good to go. Right?

Or wrong?

Jim Kronenberger (current Director of Sales at American Le Mans Series) said on LinkedIn that he once worked for a company that had a great marketing idea. They rented two bright yellow Hummers, loaded them down with emergency communications gear, and made the rounds of state and local agencies.

The agencies loved it! They had few plans for a disaster and really wanted a solution.

So far, so good. The company found a problem, created a solution, and selected a market that desperately wanted their product.

But something went wrong. It seems that the agencies had no money to pay for the equipment. They needed a 1-2 year lead time to apply for grants and get the funds necessary to purchase the equipment.

The agencies had a need, but no authority and no money. Eventually, – after wasting lots of time and money – Jim’s employer had to give up.

When looking for prospects, or generating ideas for a new product, ask yourself:

1) Is there a need for this?

2) Is there a niche I can exploit?

3) Is the market for this product big enough? You may love garlic and sausage-flavored ice cream, but will anyone else?

4) Can your target market afford your solution? There’s no sense trying to sell Louis Vuitton handbags to people applying for food stamps.

5) M-A-D (not angry – but Money, Authority, and Need). Make sure the people you’re talking to have all three.

When promoting your product, don’t assume that your customers’ tastes, opinions, and habits mirror yours exactly. Choose based on what will truly appeal to them (not what appeals to you).

If you’re not sure, ask them!