The answer is: YOU DON’T! Three words from this question define the reasons businesses can never “Launch new products into the market.” These three words – new, products, and market – get companies in trouble when it comes to launching.
- New: Not existing before, discovered recently, or existing for the first time
First Reason: Very few companies ever launch something new. Most of the time what companies want to launch is something a little different. Examples would be a better process to build a home, a better video game, the best pizza in the city, or SEO marketing. In these cases, there is very little new, and the buyer seldom knows what parts are new until after they eat the pizza, live in the house, or play the game. Every one of these is a little different, but not new.
- Product:An article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale
Second Reason: No one can buy or sell a product. The creation of “an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale” is clearly just one step in the process of selling something. Every product needs to become an offer and placed in a revenue process so a buyer can acquire it. The process can be door-to-door, online, in a store, at an auction, or in a B2B selling model. A product without that process is impossible for the buyer to acquire. The product must be transformed into an offer, which is placed in the process for sale. The transformation occurs for anything that is sold and the transformation is intentional or unintentional. Intentional is safer for the buyer and more profitable for the selling organization.
Third Reason: Markets buy commodities or something a little different. Offers (products) fall into one of two cases in the extreme.
The first of two extreme cases is when the offer is, by definition, new. The “regular gathering of people” (the market) will not be there “for the purchase” of something they don’t know exists. Even if you tell them it exists, they don’t know why they care or how to use it. In a B2B world, since they have not heard of this new offer (product), they will not have a budget or any way to do an ROI to justify the purchase.
The second extreme case is when the market is gathered to purchase, and as the definition says, they are gathered to purchase a commodity. You don’t have to launch a commodity product. It is already in the market. The buyers know as much as they want to know about the commodity other than will you lower the price?
When trying to inject a product or service profitably into a new or existing market, pay attention to these 4 guidelines:
1. When someone says new product, be sure that is the case. What companies normally sell is a different, better or cheaper offer that includes a product and/or service, but what they sell is almost never a new product. If it is a new offer, that requires the creation of a new market for your new offer. 2. The market can’t buy a product until it is transformed into an offer ready for sale and placed in a process. 3. Buyers can’t buy a truly new offer (product) in an existing market because the market doesn’t know that the new product or offer exists until the seller evangelizes to them. The market won’t care if the evangelism isn’t compelling. 4. Markets are where buyers buy things they already understand, like offers for commodities or the “same as only different.”
2. The market can’t buy a product until it is transformed into an offer ready for sale and placed in a process.
3. Buyers can’t buy a truly new offer (product) in an existing market because the market doesn’t know that the new product or offer exists until the seller evangelizes to them. The market won’t care if the evangelism isn’t compelling.
4. Markets are where buyers buy things they already understand, like offers for commodities or the “same as only different.”
How about a rewrite for the original question: How Do You Launch Offers?
Offers: Are presented for acceptance or rejection – a promise that, according to its terms, is contingent upon a particular act
To get anything launched successfully starts with a well defined and executed offer. This definition talks about the offer’s promise and terms that are contingent upon a particular act (how your process engages the buyer). Once the offer is defined and you are ready to execute the offer’s end-to-end engagement process, success is a result of how the offer is presented to the buyer regardless of if it is new or just different.
The target buyer for this offer may be in the commodity market or completely unaware that they need this offer. Regardless, the offer must be presented and success will be measured by the buyer’s acceptance or rejection of the offer.
Let’s make this the final version of the question: How Do You Successfully Launch an Offer?
Let this be the answer:
- Define your offer (is it truly new or is it just different?)
- a.What is the offer’s promise?
- b.What are the terms?
- c.What does the end-to-end engagement process with the buyer look like for this offer?
- Figure out where to find the buyer based on if this is new or different.
- Determine how the offer is best presented to the buyer.
- Remember, not only doesn’t the product sell itself; it can’t even be purchased until it’s transformed into an offer.
Like many GREAT products of the past, yours will fail if you don’t do a good job transforming the product (new or different) into an offer and getting it launched to the right buyers.
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