Introducing a new product can increase both sales and overall customer satisfaction, but how do you ensure your clients are as excited about a launch as you are, and what’s the secret to turning a new offering into profitable business?
There’s an old mantra that says ‘sell it and they will come’. While it’s true that good work attracts clients, simply offering a product doesn’t guarantee the general public will be aware of it or want it. At TKC we’ve just launched Lucente Cashmere, a new colour addition to one of our kitchen door ranges. While we knew the existing collection was popular, there were no guarantees that it would sell. However, like many trade businesses, there were steps we took to ensure the best chance of success.
First things first, consider whether your market place even wants the item. It’s easy to get carried away by a good salesperson, but research is one of the most important things you’ll do. Everything is about scale - if you’re a large organisation, sending an e-survey to your database could work, while smaller companies might benefit from asking customers face-to-face during projects. Before launching Lucente Cashmere, we’d seen a 60% rise in sales for the rest of the range - we knew it was one of our most popular. Further research into kitchen colour trends showed us that neutral shades were rapidly becoming more popular. The research encouraged the release, not the other way round!
In the digital age, it’s never been easier to market directly to the people who really matter - the customers. Your marketing strategy will always be unique to you, meaning we can never tell you how to sell your service. It might consist of anything from targeted Facebook campaigns (the different demographic settings on the tool are incredible) to advertising in publications. Think about who your audience are, and how to reach them. For example, as a trade-only supplier, we need to find ways to communicate to fitters themselves. We therefore launched Lucente Cashmere at an industry specific exhibition - we knew our audience would be there and captive - and it worked!
Anticipation and preparation
If you do the first two steps correctly, you’re going to experience an increase in sales. Never underestimate preparation for this or else you’ll only damage your company’s reputation and, ultimately, any growth from the launch itself.
Do research into previous launches, ensure all team members are fully prepared for questions, and consider your stock levels. There’s no harm in selling out, but if your supplier isn’t able to get products to you for a couple of months, your customer will simply go elsewhere. It’s all about being as knowledgeable as possible - prepare, and they will purchase.
Jitendra Mistry is design manager at TKC.