By Julian Steinforth, Expedition PR
Every year companies launch roughly 30,000 new consumer products. A staggering 95 percent of the new products end up failing, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. We also only read and hear about a small percentage of all these new products – mostly the breakthrough successes and the worst product flops.
It’s hard to get a new product on the peoples’ radar, especially for startups. Marketing flops, and ultimately product launch failures, are not only costly, they can be fatal. Startups and early growth companies simply don’t have the resources at hand like larger competitors to absorb those financial backlashes. Hence it does not astonish that according to NASBP, 46 percent of all US-based businesses failures occur due to a lack of marketing knowledge or management incompetence. And of course the reasons for startups to fail are numerous: from running out of cash, gabs in the strategy, wrong market positioning over to wrong leadership there are many hurdles for entrepreneurs out there. For consumer products, another hurdle is a person’s buying habit. Consultant Jack Trout stated that American families, on average, repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which constitute as much as 85% of their household needs. The challenge to get something new on the people’s radar, might be one of the toughest, but it can be achieved with the right marketing and PR strategy.
To help bootstrapped startups and early growth companies find the right product marketing strategy from the start, Expedition PR recently launched its second ebook “Product Launch Marketing Tips and Tricks”. The ebook answers frequently asked questions, such as ‘when is the right time for my launch?’ or ‘should it be a soft or a hard launch?’.
The product marketing launch guide is the second installment of the agency’s ebook series offering PR and marketing insights specifically for startups and early growth companies. The first edition offers advice on how companies can prepare for their first PR push when entering the market place.
Launching a product is just the first step. It often takes years to build and maintain a strong market positioning. Take a look at this chart by Gerard J. Tellis, professor of marketing, management, and organization at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California: achieving a 2 percent market penetration takes in average 6.2 years in the Unites States, 7.1 years in Germany and even 13.9 years in China.
Once the product is launched, an ongoing marketing and PR program needs to be in place to steadily build and protect the positioning.