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If you’re like most B2B companies, you launch new or improved products or services every year. After all, that’s one of the easiest ways to increase sales and market share.

But time and again, businesses are disappointed with underperforming new products or services. A study by OnTarget and Impact Marketing showed that nearly 80% of executives ranked their method of launching products as “neutral” or worse. And 60% of launch failures are due to poor planning.

VantagePoint Marketing has helped dozens of B2B companies plan, execute and market new product and service launches. Recently a few members of our leadership team recorded a discussion about how we help companies make their launches more successful. Take a few minutes to watch excerpts from that discussion below (it’s only 4 minutes), and see if there’s anything VantagePoint can do to help you with your new product or service launch. (Or, feel free to watch the video in HD, along with other videos, on VantagePoint Marketing’s YouTube channel.)

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Have you ever thought about why customers buy your product? Is it because of your brand name or the product features and benefits, or maybe the persuasive copy written in the catalog? Or is it price?  Read the rest of this entry »

Take a close look at your company’s product and service portfolio.  Does your portfolio reflect your company’s business strategy, or is your portfolio loaded with a mismatch of products or services with little potential for growth?

New products and services set the future direction of your company.  If your portfolio does not support your company’s business strategy, then who is driving your organization?

A company without a new product/service strategy can easily be directed by its most vocal salesperson(s) or its largest customers.  Sure, we all have times when we have to add a small program to satisfy critical customers.  But if you do not have an innovation charter, these incremental projects can drain your development resources and alter the future direction of your company.

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I have to focus hard not to roll my eyes when I hear for the umpteenth time about how customers buy holes not drills…

Even with this knowledge drilled into me for years as a development engineer and later as a product manager (thankfully no holes), it is still so easy to fall into the rut of defining products based on how the customer need is currently satisfied instead of focusing on the customer need. This narrow focus can limit you to incremental product improvements and blind you to substitute products.

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It’s still very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you develop a great product, everything else will just take care of itself. Very recently I was in a meeting and listened to a CEO of a company confess that his product wasn’t selling like he thought it should. He said that the company produced, without question, the best product in the industry, but it is struggling with getting its fair share of the market.

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