6 Factors to Consider Before a Product or Service Launch

rocket launching with data books and clocks drawn on a chalkboard

So, you have a product idea. 

Before you jump into manufacturing, there are a few factors to consider that could ultimately impact your sales when launching a new product

For context, studies have shown that the failure rate for new products is as high as 70 to 80%. Even the largest brands have a product miss from time to time -- we're looking at you Life Savers soda and Cheetos lip balm.

Thankfully, there is something brands can do to avoid this…

Market research! 

Teaming up with a third-party market research company, like Drive Research, promotes the success of your new product or service. Through a variety of different research methods, we can give you actionable feedback to learn from. 

A strategic plan for launching a new product includes the following: 

  • Consumer interest
  • Product use
  • Product name 
  • Packaging design
  • Sensory testing
  • Consumer reviews

Keep on reading to learn the different factors you should consider when launching a new product –- plus some fun examples of when brands should have used this advice.

Gathering Interest

By testing your product or concept before production, it ensures there is initial interest from consumers. 

Ultimately, your product can only be successful if consumers want to buy or use it. 

One way to test the interest of a new product or service is with new product demand surveys.

This research method covers the demand for a potential product before it’s physically created. Not only does this method offer potential market share estimates, but it also provides information on current competitor offerings. 

Fun fact! Have you heard of Ben-Gay aspirin? Right. Unfortunately, the strong association of the name Ben-Gay to their heavily scented, hot/cold sensation cream left consumers less than enthused about ingesting their aspirins for pain relief. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: When you plan for launching a new product, a key step to ensuring it succeeds is getting feedback prior to physical creation. That way, you’ll be able to take feedback and apply it to the model with ease. 

Using the Product 

Testing a concept can provide you with a deeper understanding of how consumers assume your product will be used. 

This is where in-home usage tests come in (IHUTs). IHUTs are especially helpful because potential consumers can actually try out the product before it’s officially launched. 

Our brief explainer video about IHUTs will give you a quick rundown: 

A hands-on approach to a new product provides brands with unique feedback that they can apply to their existing prototypes. 

Read more on the benefits of in-home testing, and why it's so important. 

Fun fact! While food-based beauty products seem to be all the rage now, that wasn’t exactly the case for Clairol who in 1979, launched their “Touch of Yogurt” shampoo. Some consumers mistakenly thought the shampoo was edible and reported becoming sick after consuming it. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: IHUTs allow future consumers to give detailed feedback on a prototype. This gives creators a unique insight into the pros and cons of the product. 

Feedback on Product Name 

We touched on this above, but your product name may have consumers associating your product with other products, brands, or unfavorable words. Or, perhaps the name doesn't describe the product -- only causing consumer confusion on what it can actually achieve. 

Market research may help you identify any possible associations before you are competing with the market. 

For more insights read our blog post where we discuss the best market research options for naming a product.

Fun fact! Amazon was originally named “Cadabra”--a spin-off of abracadabra. However, Bezos’ legal team advised against it stating the name was too obscure and sometimes sounded like “cadaver” on the phone (yikes!). Bezos tested other names like awake, browse, bookmall, and relentless.com (which will still direct you to amazon if you go to the website) but eventually settled on Amazon, naming the company after the world’s largest river. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: A name holds weight when launching a new product. Using market research prior to product launch can tell you what references and associations your product name should stay away from. 

Packaging Ideas 

One of the main stages of launching a new product: what it comes in! 

There are many messages your product packaging conveys to consumers: 

  • Does it work? 
  • Is this made for me?
  • Is it credible? 

Poor packaging design may convey that your product is not up to the standard of others in the market, for an audience other than them, or could just lack the visibility needed to stand out amongst other brands. 

By using online surveys to evaluate your packaging prior to launching a new product, you can be sure consumers won’t avoid your product due to a design flaw once it’s for sale. 

Fun fact! Does the phrase “little blue box” ring a bell? Tiffany & Co has packaging so successful they trademarked the color in 1998. While no one is completely sure what made founder Charles Lewis Tiffany settle on the color, Tiffany & Co has one of the most recognizable packaging designs in the market.  

💡 The Key Takeaway: Never underestimate the power of packaging. After all, it is what attracts consumers to your product. Market research can give you valuable information about consumer perception in this area. 

Does It Pass the Sensory Tests?

This is something that can’t be done by a simple online concept survey but is a major factor in success while you plan for launching a new product. 

Food and beverages need to taste good, fragrances should have a nice smell–you get the idea. 

By conducting market research for new product development, you can pinpoint any potential sensory issues. Is your gum too minty? Is your perfume too flowery? Is a lotion too greasy? Conducting a product test will answer those important questions. 

Fun fact! David Novak, inventor of Crystal Pepsi isn’t shy about admitting where he went wrong. While it passed the original taste tests in the lab, consumers experienced a strong aftertaste in some markets. To his benefit, Novak has learned from his mistakes telling Fast Money in 2007, "It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good."

💡 The Key Takeaway: When it comes to food, beverage, perfumes, candles, or anything that must pass the first impression test, gathering feedback from your target consumer is essential to a successful product launch. 

Does It Pass the Consumer Use Tests? 

In 2020, Trustpilot found roughly 9 out of 10 consumers will read reviews prior to buying an item. 

In a world of negative online reviews and social media slams, it’s best to weed out negative feedback before your product hits the market. 

Herein lies the importance of ongoing research through pre and post-product development.

Fun fact! Kanoa wireless headphones started off with a lot of support but may have ceased production due to one single YouTube review. Kanoa sent a test pair of headphones to a YouTube creator, and just one week after his scathing review announced they would cease production. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Identifying negative feedback from consumers from online review sites after your product launch is equally important as testing it before it enters the market. Take it as constructive criticism, and learn what you can. 

Contact Our New Product Development Market Research Firm

Our full-service market research firm can conduct the necessary research to give your product the best chance at success. 

Our team of skilled experts can assist with all things market research ahead of your product launch. From concept to product testing (and more!), we’re here to help. 

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact us using the information below to learn more about how we can assist. 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Ashley Reynolds

With nearly 10 years of experience in market research, Ashley has worked on countless quantitative and qualitative research studies. As a Fieldwork Manager at Drive Research, she’s involved in every stage of the project, especially recruitment.

Learn more about Ashley, here.

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