Is a Pandemic the Best Time for a New Product?

By Mariliana Fotopoulou Saturday, June 27, 2020

Despite the slump in consumer spending during the pandemic, companies such as Glossier and Tenzing have been trekking full steam ahead when it comes to new product launches. 

Taking advantage of the quiet commercial scene and customers lounging on their couches, mindlessly scrolling through new products to purchase, could, believe it or not, be the break all companies have been searching for.

Time for Your Product to Shine

At-home workouts, compulsive clothing consumption, local grocers, and home improvement purchases are becoming increasingly popular as the virus persists. Any new products launched during this time that find themselves related to these topics are bound to succeed. 

By scoping out the field and noticing what industries and products are on the uptick, you might find that the best time for your product to be launched is now, regardless of the state we've found ourselves in. 

This "spotlight" won't last for long. How far could your product go if you launched it while no one else would? When this is all over and done, and your company makes it to the other side, will you be able to say that you pushed your product just as hard as you did when it was easy and comfortable?

Launch While You’re Ahead

Think about the last few commercials you've seen while watching your late-night television. Each commercial sounds the same. They look identical, all while inspiring the same message. Most companies are treating the dip in brick-and-mortar sales as a time to hold back on new releases and broadcast opportunities for their company. While the screens are quiet and product launches are down, this is an opportunity to get your idea out there. 

If your company decides to hold back and launch with the millions of businesses that will be broadcasting their ideas in a few months, when the new standard rears its head, you'll be smothered. There won't be enough seats at the table, and only the big companies will get a foot in the door, leaving the small businesses and start-ups in their dust. 

Your company might end up making the best business choice by launching your product soon and avoiding the overcrowded sea of brand launches.

Take Advantage of Problem Areas

As we have been staying home, cooking more food, improving our homes, and bettering our families, we're running into new problems we haven't had to deal with before. These problems and issues are great opportunities to form into advantages for your company. Companies are brainstorming new ideas to create resources, products, and services to step into the cracks forming as we move and grow into new environments we haven't experienced before. 

Founders of grocery chains, restaurants, and shopping malls are having to take advantage of the problem caused by losing their customers in the daily face-to-face communications and meeting them where they are at. As a business owner, looking to release a new product during this time, you must take the time to research what needs should be met and what industries are thriving during this time, and create your product around those developments.

Customers First, Company Second

In the end, your company's first concern should be your customer and ensuring that everything that is coming out from your business is serving them in whatever way is best. When the virus is gone, your company is back on its feet, and the mundane commercials have returned to the airwaves, that's when you'll realize how well, or not so well, you had taken care of your customers. Launching a product shouldn't be something done mindlessly or without council and customer analysis. 

What is your target audience? Are they thirty-year-olds, living in the suburbs, with three kids and a dog? Is your target customer a seventy-year-old relaxing on the beach after their retirement? Whomever they are, your target audience will have specific needs during this time. Focus on those, even if it's not something your company does currently or would continue doing in later years, and find the best way to join your expertise with your customers' needs. 

After all, your customers drive your business, and without them, your company won't be needed any longer.

About the Author

Mariliana Fotopoulou

Mariliana has an MSC in consumer analytics and business strategy. She has a special interest in fast-moving industries and big data.

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