This Little Product Went to Market

This little product went to market


Over 80% of all new consumer product launches fail. (According to research by Nielsen and Ernst & Young in the North American market. ) Business-to-business products do slightly better, but still suffer from a 66% failure rate. The question is why? Especially given the extensive research, testing and preparation that most companies put into their product launches. At The James Gang, we believe that the problem can only be solved by understanding who your customers are, knowing what they really want, and then designing your product, and your product communications, to fill that need. Now let’s send our Little Product off to market.


This little product went to market thinking that everyone would love it.

squeezed...

But when it got there, the market was very crowded and the little product had to squeeze itself into a small space.

A few people came by but nobody looked at the little product.

A lady wearing eye-glasses

Then a lady wearing eye-glasses came over, picked it up and said curtly, “No, this won’t work. It’s not organic.”

too fattening

A skinny young woman sounded interested, “Hmmm. Looks good.” And then sighed, “But I can’t touch it. Too fattening.”

a tall man

A tall man picked up the little product.

shook it vigoroursly

And shook it very vigorously. “This bottle should be half the size. The contents don’t fill it up and it’s not even recyclable. What were they thinking?”

a woman with earings

A woman with big earrings and a loud floral dress screamed at the little product, “Sammy will love this!” and picked up the little product and dropped it into her shopping cart.

The little product was excited but tried not to show it.

But then the woman’s friend said, “Jody you can pick up something like this at Wal-Mart for half the price.”

And then the woman with big earrings and a loud floral dress plucked the little product out of the cart and put it back on the shelf, sideways.

a little girl

A little girl skipped by and saw the little product lying there on its’ side. “Mommy can I get this? It looks like something Grandma would like.”

“Darling, it’s cute but it’s too retro. Grandma’s new condo is very modern. That won’t fit in.”

The little girl stamped her foot, and shoved the little product to the very back of the shelf.

in the shadows

The little product was very depressed and started crying, ‘How will anybody see me in the shadows?’

A middle-aged couple walked down the aisle briskly.

it's perfect

The woman spun around and pulled the little product out into the light to examine it more closely. “Stu, look at this. It’s just what we’ve been looking for! It’s the right size and color. Even the detailing on the label is perfect.”

The little product was beaming. Finally some smart people who appreciated its value.

knock it off in china

Stu agreed, “It’s a gem. We’ll knock it off in China in two weeks.”

The lady snapped a photo of the little product and put it back on the shelf.

The store manager walked by with a stock boy. He picked up the little product, turned it upside down to see its UPC code and scratched some notes on paper. “This little product is not moving. Send it back to the manufacturer and tell them we’re not ordering anymore unless they can cut the price in half.”

stock boy

“Hey, why don’t we display this little product upside down? My friends would think this is really cool — but you’d have to give me some free samples to spread the word…”

The store manager looked at the stock boy with his eyes narrowed and said nothing. The stock boy quickly threw the little product into a big box along with lots of other products.

send it back

To be continued…