Sep 6, 2023 Written by David Barlev

10 Mistakes Founders Make When Bringing New Products to Market

Product Launch Maze

We all know that launching a product comes with its own unique set of challenges and rewards. It can be overwhelming; but with careful planning, research, strategic risk-taking, and mindfulness, you have every opportunity to build success for yourself and your business. Here are 10 mistakes founders make when bringing a new product or service to market – actively avoid making these errors so you don’t find yourself stuck before your product is even launched.

Underestimating the level of effort required to launch a product

From market research and user testing to development, marketing, and post-launch maintenance, each step of the product launch process demands significant effort. Planning and executing a successful launch strategy, building a robust user base, and establishing a sustainable market presence all require dedicated time and energy. Moreover, unforeseen challenges often arise during the process. Technical glitches, unexpected user behaviors, and shifts in market trends can disrupt even the most meticulously crafted launch plans. Be ready to pivot and adapt.

It’s essential to recognize that this phase is not just about showcasing a product’s features but about shaping its trajectory in the market. Ideally, you want to find the right product-market fit, which is what enables you to earn new customers and ultimately solve their problems. Seek advice from experts who can provide insights into the challenges they’ve faced during their own launches.

Not conducting enough user research or market testing

User research and market testing are the cornerstones of informed decision-making in product development. They provide invaluable insights into user preferences, pain points, and needs, essential for creating a product that truly resonates with the intended audience. However, due to time constraints, budget limitations, or a belief that the vision is already aligned with user needs, you might be tempted to skip or skimp on these crucial steps.

Make sure you prioritize user research and market testing as integral components of the product development strategy. Allocating time and resources for comprehensive research, including surveys, interviews, and usability testing, will provide invaluable insights. Engaging potential users throughout the development process through prototypes and beta testing can help identify areas for improvement and build anticipation for the launch. Not only that, but it also informs you on which features you should prioritize in the early phases of your product. You can save a lot of time and money if you make sure you’re only building what you need. 

Launching an incomplete MVP

Launching an MVP that doesn’t have the right features is akin to offering a half-baked solution to users’ problems. While it’s important to start small and avoid feature bloat, neglecting core functionalities can undermine the value proposition of the product. Users expect a certain level of utility and value from the products they engage with. It’s important to offer users enough value so they understand the benefits of the product and continue using it. Make sure your MVP has enough features for users to enjoy your product before launching.

Ignoring customer feedback and not adapting your product quickly enough

Customer feedback is a precious resource, offering a direct line into the minds of the people who will ultimately determine the product’s success. It’s important to maintain a dialogue with users and be proactive in addressing issues. Not listening or taking action on feedback can hurt user engagement and create a negative impression of the brand. Ignoring it or being too slow to adapt can result in lost customers and missed opportunities for improvement. Monitor customer feedback, prioritize changes, and plan for ongoing improvements in order to build better.

Not properly pricing products for different markets

Each market has its unique economic conditions, cultural nuances, and competitive landscapes that directly influence how customers perceive value. Failing to acknowledge these variations and adopting a one-size-fits-all pricing strategy can result in several detrimental outcomes.

Underpricing a product in a particular market might seem like an attractive way to gain a competitive edge, but it can inadvertently convey a lack of quality or value. Customers may associate a lower price with inferior quality, impacting the product’s perceived value. Conversely, overpricing a product in a different market can lead to reduced demand and alienate potential customers.

Focusing too much on technical “bells and whistles” instead of solving core problems

Founders often get excited about the latest technology trends and lose focus on the core issue their product aims to solve. When launching a product, it is important to stay focused on the core features and benefits that will solve customer problems. Too often, companies add extra functionality or features that make the end product more complicated than necessary without providing value to customers. Remember, users are looking for simplicity and ease of use. Stay focused on addressing your customers’ real pain points.

Relying on word-of-mouth marketing instead of actively reaching out to customers

Although word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful tool, relying on it exclusively is a mistake. To ensure your product launch is successful, you need to actively reach out to potential customers. This could be through email campaigns, online ads, PR outreach, and more. You should also consider partnering with influencers or industry leaders who can help get the word out about your product. Additionally, consider participating in trade shows and other industry events so potential customers can interact with your product. Taking a proactive approach to marketing will help you get the most out of your launch.

Not taking advantage of available resources like accelerators, incubators, or agencies

The truth is that startups thrive in collaborative ecosystems. Engaging with accelerators, incubators, and agencies demonstrates a willingness to learn, adapt, and optimize resources for maximum impact.

Founders should view these resources as strategic investments that can pay dividends in the long run. Instead of viewing them as a crutch, founders should embrace them as platforms for growth. Collaborating with mentors, investors, and agencies provides valuable perspectives, a support network, and access to insights that would be challenging to acquire independently. Not taking advantage of available resources like accelerators, incubators, or agencies can be a significant mistake. By embracing these resources, founders can access mentorship, expertise, funding, and industry connections that can substantially enhance their chances of success.

Not properly setting expectations with investors and other stakeholders

Transparency and communication are crucial when dealing with investors. Make sure to set proper expectations and provide regular updates on the progress of your product launch. Provide detailed information about any challenges you have faced, as well as how you have addressed them. Additionally, lay out a plan for how you will use additional funding if it becomes available. Be honest with investors and other stakeholders so that there are no surprises when it comes time to launch your product.

Overlooking the importance of post-launch maintenance, bug fixes, and customer support

An often overlooked aspect of product launches is the importance of post-launch care. After the initial launch, your product will need regular maintenance and bug fixes to ensure it continues to work well for customers. Additionally, you should have some customer support mechanisms in place to respond to customer inquiries and complaints. This is important for both current customers and potential new ones. Having a dedicated team, or at least one person available to handle these tasks will help ensure your product’s success over time. Make sure your team is prepared to handle maintenance, bug fixes, and customer support to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Avoiding these common mistakes will set your startup on the path to success. Make sure you have the right plan in place and the resources to make your product launch a success. With thoughtful preparation and careful execution, you can ensure that your product is well-received by the market and leads to long-term success.

To ensure you have the most successful product you can, contact us to learn more about how Goji Labs can help guide your product launch process.