Knowing your target market is one of the most important elements to a successful marketing campaign, if not the most important. Marketing to those that are not in your target market is useless and extremely wasteful! But knowing your target market becomes even more critical when you are launching a new product. Why? Because you have even more money, resources and man power on the line. And just knowing who your target audience is is not enough, you need to know all there is to know about them. That is why doing Market Research is completely necessary when launching a new product.
I remember taking Marketing 250 – Market Research in college. Seemed pretty boring to me. But after starting my own business over 10 years ago, I realize now just how incredibly important market research is! It can save a business millions of dollars! And some of it is relatively cheap… at least compared to the price of a failed product launch. There have been so many product flops over the years that could’ve been avoided if proper market research had been conducted! Here are a few of my favorite product flops:
- Coors Rocky Mountain Spring Water. You’d think one of the most popular beer brands would be able to pull off another refreshing beverage. Unfortunately, they did not realize their customers were not interested in buying a product from Coors that did not contain alcohol!
- Colgate Kitchen Entrees. Sounds gross to me. Colgate tried to extent its brand into food products, but consumers could not associate the toothpaste brand with food.
- Crystal Pepsi. I’m sure you can remember this one! In the late 80s, Pepsi tried to market a clear cola that tasted exactly like regular Pepsi. Clearly, it did not resonate with customers!
You would think that these big brands with even bigger budgets would be able to conduct the research necessary to avoid such failures. The problem is that not enough wholistic market research is done. Many companies will use only a few market research tactics, and will miss out on important information. There are so many different strategies, I could devote an entire post to them. I think I will 🙂