Overcoming Three Common Product Launch Challenges

If you’re a marketer, it’s likely you’ve heard names such as Apple Newton, or Microsoft WebTV, but not because they were exceptional products.

These products were famous in the biggest product launch failures category.

Why did these products fail so badly?

Launching a new product and ensuring its success isn’t always a walk in the park.

There are a number of challenges you’ll need to overcome.

The Harvard Business Review reported 75 percent of products fail to make more than $7.5 million during their first year of launch.

So how do you become part of the 25 percent?

The idea is to understand the challenges you might face when launching a new product and then implement effective techniques to overcome those challenges.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common product launch challenges, and find out how you can overcome them.

Product Launch Challenges In Targeting the Right Audience

Despite your product being great in terms of concept and development, not every demographic is going to appreciate it equally.

For your product launch to be successful, you’ll need to market the product to a target audience that’s most likely to appreciate it.

The biggest challenge is in finding the right target audience.

To overcome this challenge, you’ll need to begin by understanding your product and trying to determine which demographic will value it the most.

Be careful to avoid targeting a demographic based on stereotypes alone.

For instance, you’re developing a new video game and you automatically decide to target men aged 18 and 34.

No brainer, right?

Actually, only 31 percent of mobile users searching for video games are within this age group.

Finding the right target audience requires you understand your product and then determine which demographic conducts the most searches for a product like yours.

Based on those results, you can further study the demographic and gain a better understanding of their interests, values, professions, and income category.

This will help you understand how to market and price your product.

It’s also important you study their most preferred social media channels so you can understand which channels to use when reaching out to them.

For example, 45 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24, while 62 percent of LinkedIn users are aged between 25 and 54.

Challenges In Positioning the Product

Your product may have excellent features that solve a number of problems for people.

However, if you’re unable to position those features in a way that will resonate with the target audience, you may not have much success in selling the product.

You have to think about the audience, what they want, and how your product can fulfill that need.

If you managed to overcome the first challenge, you’ll have no trouble coming up with the kind of positioning that will sell to your target audience.

One of the most notable examples is when soft drink brand 7Up was introduced with the tagline “The UnCola.”

It was advertised as a soda that was different from traditional colas.

The idea was to challenge the status quo and promote the culture of being true to oneself.

As a result of the campaign, the drink became one of the top three most popular sodas in the U.S. during the late sixties.

Challenges In Finding the Right Launch Strategy

For a product launch to be successful, you need a proper strategy that suits your goals and your target audience.

The challenge is in developing that strategy because there are so many options available.

You may be overwhelmed trying to determine how to get your message across to your target audience, and how you’re going to promote it.

To develop the perfect product launch strategy, you need to consider two main aspects:

  1. Product distribution method. You need to understand how to deliver the product to your audience in the most cost-effective and convenient manner. Determine where they’re most likely to shop—websites, apps, brick and mortar shops—and then develop a strategy to effectively market the product. For example, maybe your target customers prefer to shop online. In that case, come up with ideas for product demo videos that will give them a good idea about what the product offers.
  2. Product promotion channel. You need to think about promotion channels that are most likely to be effective among your target audience. Maybe you could come up with a compelling social media marketing campaign if your audience frequents social media channels. Or you could send marketing emails if they tend to be responsive towards that medium. You can make the most of tools such as MailChimp, which lets you send regular updates and automate countdown emails about your upcoming product.


In addition to the challenges mentioned here, you may face a number of other issues based on your industry and the type of product you sell.

No matter what the case, a thorough research of your target audience and staying updated with changes in your target market can significantly help you overcome the challenges.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your product launch?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

image credit: shutterstock

Brandon Leibowitz

Brandon Leibowitz is the founder of Get Plus Followers, a social media marketing agency in Los Angeles, California, and Shralpin.com, a skateboarding news blog. He is featured on sites such as Social Media Today, Live Chat Blog, Simply Measured, Business2Community and other popular sites.

View all posts by Brandon Leibowitz