March 06, 2014

Rolling Out New Products

Have you had a chance to read this little ditty about books (click here)?

In television, "binging" is the new black. Netflix releases season two of "House of Cards", and folks will watch thirteen hours over the course of a weekend. Or if you never saw "Breaking Bad", you can watch AMC and catch up over the course of a long weekend.

Now that's happening in books, too. Gotta release 'em every few months to satiate the audience.

How about your business?

I've spent nearly a year telling all of you that new merchandise is the number one problem I see, across my client base. Number one. Hands down. There's not enough new product. And when products are released, they're released in one giant clump.

What's wrong with one, giant clump of new product?

The answer is obvious ... all those new products are competing against each other for a fixed customer wallet. Most of the folks I work with release a spring assortment, and a fall assortment. So those spring items all compete in March/April for the small amount of money the customer has at that time. Then again, it happens in Fall.

Think about this, folks. Take a quarter of your new products, and release them throughout the year, where applicable. Feature these new items in your email campaigns, on your home page, on landing pages. If you have a catalog, put those new items on pages 6-7, and train the customer to look at pages 6-7 every three weeks for new items.

You, too, have "fans". And those fans need to have the fire hose of new products blasted straight at them, all year long.

Think about what I just told you. If it's happening in TV, and it's happening in books, why couldn't it be something you capitalize on?

2 comments:

  1. Kevin, as usual, thanks for sharing these great ideas to test. In my past (early 1990's) I was a marketing analyst for video products via the positive option model. That meant you signed up to purchase a product that shipped once every 4 -5 weeks. One of the products was the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. When we started selling it, we had the exclusive. We had a situation where a small amount of our client base had the money to buy the merchandise in bulk but no means to do so. After reviewing an increase of complaints about not being able to buy many episodes at once, we trained the customer service representatives on how to fulfill bulk orders.

    The point of my sharing this is? The data exists for a merchandiser to know what percentage of customers can afford to buy more of our product and who has purchased more of our product during the seasonal updates you mention in your post. Data should be used to isolate these customers to make sure they get access to the merchandise ahead of your other clients who will be better served with a slower release cycle. This group of customers very may be part of your customer base that drives your profitability and the last thing you want to happen is to lose sales in this segment.

    I totally agree with your view on merchandise. Our responsibilities as marketers is not to just test new creatives or sales vehicles but to also test how we release merchandise to our various customer segments. I applaud your efforts at showing us the way.

    @dmgerbino

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