New products flood the market daily. You can’t help but turn on late-night TV and be confronted by one infomercial after another as you click through the channels. Entrepreneurs are rolling out new ideas and new items faster than ever.
Millions of dollars are spent yearly developing and launching new products, but did you know that only one in ten will prove successful? And even fewer will enjoy a long shelf life. That’s the cold reality, but you can greatly enhance your chances for business success if your product shares a series of ten intangible qualities separate from the physical product itself.
I’ve helped launch more than 500 products, but I’ve definitely suffered a few clunkers along the way. Here is the proven checklist of intangible features that he developed during his thirty years as an entrepreneur and investor.
The sizzle won’t last if it doesn’t stand up to this test. Ask yourself these ten questions before going public with your product or service:
1. “Is the product unique in its marketplace?” You can’t roll out the same-old, same-old. Your product has to have a cool new look that will make the consumer sit up and take notice.
2. “Does it have enough of a market who want it?” It’s advantageous to target a micro-niche but there still has to be enough people who can afford to buy the product. Conduct some surveys to see if people want what you have and if there’s enough to make it viable.
3. “Does it really solve a problem?” If your product doesn’t solve a problem, you’ve got a potential problem – consumers aren’t as likely to buy it. We all like to imagine people buying something just because they like it, but in reality people are more likely to buy things that solve problems.
4. “Is there a powerful offer with a competitive price?” The time-tested pitch “But wait, there’s more!” – is a proven winner. The key is great value at the right price. In today’s world, people immediately check the Internet for the same product at a cheaper price.
5. “Can you easily explain how it works?” There has to be an easy-to-understand explanation of how and why your product works. Get your elevator pitch ready. If it takes a college degree to understand the pitch, it’s too complicated. You may only grab people for a couple of seconds – so you have to tease, please and seize their imagination.
6. “Is there a magical transformation or demo?” Before-and-after images or statistics – showing easily noticeable differences – are powerful marketing tools.
7. “Is it multifunctional?” Think like your competitor. If you come out with a product that has just one function, your competitor can steal your thunder – and your sales – with a similar product that offers more functions. Beat them to it and include the added function.
8. “Are there credible testimonials?” An actual customer promo is ten times better than any actor portrayal. Real people offer real results. But you should also seek out professional testimonials from industry associations, doctors and other experts in your industry to further build your product’s credibility.
9. “Are there independently proven results?” Be prepared to back up your claims with unshakeable success stories or scientific studies, including third-party clinical studies or reviews from product-testing labs that support your claims.
10. “Can you answer the questions the buyer is thinking?” You must be prepared for any and all questions that could arise over your product. Put yourself in the shoes of consumers, and think of all the skeptical questions they could ask.