by Matt Weik
When brands launch a product, it can be a very exciting time. That is so long as they don’t release to market a product that is half-assed or that tastes bad. I can’t tell you how many times in the past year I have seen brands launch products that fit into one or both of those categories and it ultimately changes my opinion of a brand.
Now, before we all get bent out of shape, my opinions of these products were also confirmed when I asked others their thoughts as well as read the reviews posted from consumers. When you launch a product that was rushed, consumers will move away from your brand and could quite possibly never come back. You get one shot to nail it and one opportunity to make a good first impression and if you blow it on a new consumer who was introduced to your brand… well, you’re dead to them.
Just (DON’T) Do It
While Nike says to “Just Do It” that isn’t the case when you are looking to launch a product. Everyone wants to be first to market with innovation, I get it. But brands need to be sure to take their time and make sure they nail every aspect of the product. Profile, ingredients, taste, texture, etc., all come into play. I don’t care if you’re first to market for 10th, you need to have nailed everything before you decide to launch a product.
Here’s what happens when you’re first to market with a terrible product. Everyone gets excited and runs out to purchase it. They get it, try it, and hate it. Guess what? They’ll never buy the product again and now your brand could potentially lose a loyal customer for putting out a terrible product that changed their perception of the brand.
Here’s what happens when you’re 10th to market with a terrible product. Not as many people are willing to try it since it’s a me-too product but when they do, they hate it and they may never buy from you ever again.
As you can see from both examples above, in the end, you are left with the same result. Now let’s take a look at what happens even when you are 10th to market but have a solid product. Consumers give the product a try since others on the market are decent and they find your product is way better than the competitors they tried. Now, guess what? They’re buying your product even though you were so late into the game.
This happened to me earlier this year. I was testing out protein cookies and tried brands like Lenny & Larry’s as well as Quest. I wasn’t really a fan of either brand even though they were some of the best-selling protein cookies on the market. Then came along Performix. Now, up until that point I had never tried a Performix product my entire life but I decided to give their protein cookie a try. To my surprise, this late to the game product launch by Performix blew my socks off. It was the best damn protein cookie I ever had. That includes making my own protein cookies from scratch in my kitchen. On the flip side, after trying the Performix protein cookie I tried the new MET-Rx protein cookies (another late player in the game but a legacy brand). They were absolutely disgusting and I’ll never buy them again.
If you want to end it all, launch a product that was rushed and to put it bluntly is terrible. I see it more times than I care to share. In fact, things have gotten to the point where if an individual asks me about a specific product and I didn’t like it I will tell them. However, I have stopped writing reviews on products that I don’t like for the simple fact that there isn’t enough time in the day to type multiple pieces on products that I thought were horrible.
It’s brand suicide when you launch a product that consumers hate. And I’m not talking about a handful, I’m talking about almost every single person who has functioning taste buds. If you let down your loyal customers, they will start shopping around for other products from other brands. And if those consumers like what they try, the likelihood of them trying more products from that brand and potentially leaving your brand in the dust is potentially high.
I would much rather have a brand not release a new product than to come to market with a subpar product that even they aren’t completely happy with but know they need to do something to show they are trying to be relevant in the industry. Delay a launch or scrap it altogether if you can’t get things right with the launch of a product. Make changes. Make tweaks. Do whatever you need to do until you can sit among your peers and associates and all come to an agreement that there’s nothing left with the product that needs to be changed or fixed. And once you have reached that point is when you can green light things to launch a product.
Do you work for a supplement company or did you in the past and saw the brand launch a product or products you knew wasn’t good and wouldn’t sell well? What did you think or do? Or are you a consumer who was brand loyal until trying a product and realized that it was absolutely terrible. Did that change your opinion of the brand and do you still buy their products today? Let me know in the comments.