What does it take to have a successful product launch? The hope is that superior products will always trump out mediocre products in the long run, but sadly, this is not necessarily the case. You could very well have developed the best possible solution to an incredibly common problem, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to buy it from you.

The Keys to Success

Late last week, I wrote a blog post on building a successful small business. In it, I talked about the importance of identifying a real problem that people have and figuring how you are best equipped to provide them with a unique solution that is better than what the competition is offering. You would hope that is enough, but there are thousands of “X factors” that you also have to consider.

The smart consumer is the kind of person who would do a fair bit of research before committing to a purchasing decision. This kind of customer knows what they want and so they can walk into a store and not need any help. This kind of customer reads expert product reviews and watches YouTube walkthroughs to decide whether this product or that product is superior. Unfortunately, a large number of consumers don’t go through this process for any number of reasons.

The Saga of the HTC One

Even if your product is indeed getting glowing product reviews on all the relevant blogs and websites, this does not guarantee you any kind of real world success. A prime example of this is the HTC One depicted at the top of this post. Among the geeky tech community, it is widely regarded as one of the absolute best Android smartphones on the market today. You would think that this would propel the HTC One to the top of the sales charts, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, HTC is expecting some significant operating losses for Q3.

I bring up this example from the consumer electronics industry, since I am more familiar with this story, but you can see how similar phenomena can be observed across all sorts of industries and product categories. You could, objectively and subjectively, have the very best product in a particular niche, but none of that really matters if not enough people are buying. A big reason why Samsung is the undisputed leader in Android at the moment is that they are spending a lot of money on marketing, far more than what we see from an LG, a Motorola or a Sony.

No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Great product reviews don’t mean that you’ll get great sales figures, but throwing money at marketing doesn’t guarantee you any sort of real success either. What you need is a special recipe for a special formula that is custom-tailored to your product, your industry and your ideal customer.