Companies launch new products in a bid to change people’s lives for the better, and effectively appeal to a large customer base. But the initial response to products may turn out to be shockingly lackluster. It takes time before customers realize and wholeheartedly embrace the product. If ever.
Statistics suggest that a large percentage of new products do not succeed in the market. According to a recent research by Foodnavigator USA, 85% of consumer packaged goods fail and ultimately disappear within two years of launch, and the statistics paint an equally sorry picture in other segments as well.
Your product might be the best in the world (at least that’s usually the goal), but consumers will have little or no confidence in it.
There are many instances when new products from established brands hit the markets and have failed miserably. Even the likes of Ford, Coca Cola, GE, or Google have experienced their fair share of failures.
It’s easy to dismiss all of these failures as bad luck or poorly executed product launch, but there’s more to it. Customers’ resistance to a new product is actually influenced by many psychological factors. A cold response from buyers, for example, can be partly explained by a phenomenon known as endowment effect.
The theory suggests that people are ready to pay more to retain something they already have or know, rather than to change it for something new.
Overcoming the resistance of shoppers to try your new products?
Imagine you’re a manufacturer of hair products and have found an innovative formula that makes dry hair shiny and smooth almost immediately. And now, you are getting ready to launch the new, premium priced shampoo on an already saturated and competitive market. But how do you do this?
If you want shoppers to come out of their comfort zone, you have make it easy.
You have to start convincing customers to try out your great new product. Make it super-convenient for them to find out
– how it is a solution to a relevant and pressing problem
– how it satisfies a need they may or may not be aware of,
– and how it makes their life easier and better – with gorgeous hair.
Also, remember that your consumers are loss averse.
They’ll prefer avoiding the loss over gambling for gains. So, the potential gains from adopting a new shampoo must outbalance the things they stand to lose by ditching the old one. That means educating your customers about your new shampoo is just as important as justifying why they should switch. Help them understand how your product differentiates in terms of quality and effectiveness.
After you’ve finally caught their interest, think one step ahead: will they find the right product easily when they already have a plethora of shampoos to choose from? You could have a brilliant shampoo, but still be missing a sale opportunity, simply because it’s difficult and inconvenient to research products at your store. How can your customer embrace your new product, if they have a difficult time finding and choosing it?
To summarize, making people embrace your new product takes addressing the 3 important points:
1) Get them out of their comfort zone to try something new
2) Make up for a lack of product knowledge
3) Help them locate and choose the new product easily