How to Recover After a Failed Product Launch

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Written by Michael Foote, founder of Quote Goat, has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

A product launch can make your business soar through the sky with success – or it can make it crash-land onto a pile of debt and disappointment. While a failed product launch is something most business owners would fear with all they have, it’s sometimes an inevitable part of learning a growing.

When you manage to handle it the right way, it can even boost your business performance and give you greater success with your products in the future.

Use these handy tips as an emergency guide when everything goes wrong, so that you’re able to get back up on your feet as soon as possible.

Where did you go wrong?

Pouring in bottles of energy and dedication to something that fails utterly will leave a sour taste in your mouth. To analyze the situation might be the last thing you’d want to do instead of just moving on already, but by turning a blind eye, you risk losing out on a lot of valuable lessons.

Most of the largest and most successful corporations out there had a series of unfortunate and completely disastrous product launches; the reason they’re still operating today is that they worked hard to get it right the second time.

Your market is the only one who can show you the bare truth behind this failure. Analysis like these may cost a bit of money, so have a look at and consider your options – you’ll need the extra resources when it’s time to improve the product.

Send out a survey to your existing customers and explain that you’re looking for feedback on how to improve, and offer them some sort of reimbursement for helping you out – such as a discount on their next purchase or something similar.

Improve the product

When you’ve gathered as much data as possible, you should be able to make sense of the past. Maybe there was never anything wrong with the product at all, but rather the market that never really grasped what it’s all about. Or perhaps they’ll never find it useful, and you should have targeted a different group, to begin with.

No matter what the reasons are, you need to accept the feedback and improve the product. The difference behind a successful and unsuccessful company lies right here; they’ll both experience hiccups on the way, but the former is able to learn from their mistakes.

Ready for relaunch!

Implement the improvements, have another look at your marketing strategy, and reconsider the target group with the data you’ve gathered – and send it out as a ‘tester’ before relaunching it. Check out as well for some great tips on achieving a robust strategy when you’re ready to relaunch.

This is a great way to offer your recipients of the first questionnaire another reimbursement, by the way; make them the first users of your improved product and send another follow-up questionnaire after some time.

That way, you’ll get a complete overview of what they disliked and liked about your first product, and whether they think you managed to nail it this time.

Failed product launches are a part of business life – successful ones take much more work and dedication. Use it to connect with your existing customers and build a stronger relationship by showing how much you care; they’ll pay you and your fantastic product back in spades.


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