Why a lot of products fail
The obstacles that need to be overcome
Selling new products isn’t easy. There are a lot of obstacles on the way to success and unfortunately some of them are often forgotten.
Getting enough transparency
Even very cool products have a hard time getting enough transparency in the beginning. You therefore need to plan well how the get the necessary attention from your potential customers. Also keep in mind that transparency is only the first hurdle. It’s barely possible to convert 100% of the people who hear about your solution into customers. Depending on the channels and your conversion-rates you may need to contact quite a big audience. As you don’t want to waste your time trying to convince mismatches to buy from you, you‘d rather spend that time on finding those who want to buy. The key to get this right is to find a good niche.
Gaining enough interest
Once you got the attention of potential customers you still need to gain their interest. A big mistake is focusing too much on benefits when actually you should be focusing on explaining the benefits against the predominant alternative. Good positioning with a clear USP is absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that your solution also has the disadvantage of causing change costs and has risks associated to it. Addressing (and ideally decreasing) them can help you tremendously.
Even though you got all the above right, you still may not have had the right timing. You’re unlikely to sell your solution when your potential customer has just bought an alternative or is occupied with something else. Selling your solution may take time.
Gaining enough trust
Using a new products involves uncertainty. Are you able to deliver what you promise? Will you be there for your customers if they have a problem with your service?
In startups this is tricky. It’s hard to credibly show you will. The reason is the missing brand — a history that shows that you can be trusted and a reputation that you are willing to protect. Instead you will have to gain their trust by properly addressing their concerns and by never letting them down.
In case you work with influencers, you can also ‘borrow’ trust. The idea is to find a person or a brand your audience trusts already and with the willingness to back you and your product.
Helping the user to build a habit
For sure you know the experience of wanting to start a new habit, but despite all the interest and conviction you abandoned it in the end.
Helping the users to create successful habits of using your product is essential for recurring sales. Make sure you offer enough guidance and reward for the usage of your product.
A good method to increase the likelihood of habit building is to examine those users that naturally build habits and identify common patterns. You can then adapt your product to foster these patterns based on your learnings.
- Make sure your innovation is big enough: As hard as it sounds, don’t waste your time with a product that might be cool but just takes too much effort to bring to the customer.
- Choose your niche wisely: Hurdles differ in size for different customers. Choose a niche for which they are low — especially in the beginning when your product isn’t mature yet and needs additional margin to compensate for shortcomings.