They just do.
Coors, Kellogg, Ford, Apple — I can’t think of a single long running business that has not created risky products that end up selling poorly.
Many of those companies have been able to survive though, and it is not unusual to try and fail.
Virgin owner Richard Branson has spoken many times on the importance of taking calculated risks, and Google has even rewarded failed innovations.
So you can see flops are just one result of something necessary: Risks.
But another product of risks, even product flops and failures, is brand loyalty and awareness.
This is incredibly important for business and it is what will keep your company afloat even when you’re not bringing in as much money as you hoped.
In the digital age, brand loyalty and awareness techniques have had to change and adapt because people are always engaged with their digital devices and involved online.
You need to go where your customers are, not the other way around.
So how do you track overall success when something goes awry?
It’s about visibility in front of potential customers, who ultimately determine what the market looks like.
How Many People are Paying Attention… and Who are They?
All businesses should use Google Analytics, an amazing and free program that tracks how many people visit your site and how long they stay.
It also tracks demographics information on your site visitors.
You can know exactly what kind of customers you attract and what kind of activity grabs their attention best, and then adjust your marketing accordingly.
Google Analytics specifically is compatible with a variety of different web hosts.
You can set it up with Drupal, WordPress, Squarespace, or Tumblr.
It is essential to know who is still paying attention when a product does flop as much as when a product does well.
It is also good to know what potential customers are paying attention to by monitoring the traffic on different web pages.
If you see a lot of traffic on your blog, for instance, try to link back to your product pages from it.
Tracking who is paying attention is a very important part of market analysis in the digital age.
For the purpose of success, you need to know what is profitable and what loses attention.
This can all be shown by monitoring your web traffic.
Observation and speculation—rather, natural trial and error—are good things, but hard numbers are always better.
I recommend downloading the information and putting together a heat map in a spreadsheet, which should automatically help you see what kind of responses and how much you get to particular subcategories of posts.
Keep in Potential Customers’ Lines of Sight
Even when a product doesn’t do so well, you need to find a way to keep yourself in people’s minds.
How can this be done, you might ask?
Again, this is the digital age, which means you have many tools at your disposal— social media and email, for starters.
There are several days at a time where I won’t have anything going on with my business.
I personally have found it very useful to use these “down” days to advertise older products on Instagram, network on Twitter, share things on Facebook, and write about what I’m up to on our website.
As weird as it may seem, I think that light hearted memes are pretty good for this same thing as well.
They keep you culturally relevant with your customer base, as well as fill time when you need it.
I see more followers all the time.
And I think a big part of that is just because I’m staying active.
As well, something I was originally against but have come around to is mailing lists, or email marketing.
Business experts such as Quickbooks recommend it, and after interviewing other business owners I found that it usually increases site traffic as well as cause occasional sales bumps.
So if people don’t always like our products, they stay aware of our brand.
The Importance of Brand Loyalty
Hopefully, your company will release enough well-selling products to make up for the ones that flop.
Eventually, you want to reach a point where people trust your brand.
That is, they know you have delivered on good products in the past and that if something has your name on it, they can expect the same quality.
You want to get to a point where a few mistakes don’t determine the rest of your business career.
Brand loyalty is not a myth.
If a company puts out one or two products in a row I don’t like, I still respect their brand.
Coca Cola is one such brand, as are other favorite food chains and soda companies.
Success is more than simple numbers, it’s also what makes a company memorable and what keeps it relevant.
What ways do you track brand awareness and keep it up?