Most new product launches fail to deliver on promises – and social media doesn’t help either

A new survey of 2000 UK adults by marketing agency Five by Five finds that 74 per cent of UK adults are excited at the prospect of trying a new product but, after the event, only 28 per cent can remember what they were.

Half of consumers (50 per cent) have waited in line to buy a new product – with men more likely to do so than women. Overall, 21 per cent have queued to buy new technology (up to 26 per cent among men), one in ten (up to 15 per cent of men) have queued to buy a new game, 18 per cent to see a new movie and 15 per cent for a new book. Around one in eight women (13 per cent) have queued to buy newly-launched cosmetics.

The consumer technology sector was ranked first for building anticipation when it comes to launching something new followed by the video games industry and then the TV/movies sector. Apple was the brand most people named as creating product launches that stuck in the memory – particularly the iPhone and iPad.

Websites are seen as a key element of a new product launch: over half (51 per cent) of consumers want to see online offers and/or competitions, while 38 per cent want video content and 35 per cent want behind-the-scenes information. One in eight consumers (12 per cent) have attended a launch event, but over a quarter (27 per cent) were unimpressed by the event they visited.

The survey also found that people favoured the rational over the emotional when considering a new product: 72 per cent went for whether or not they need it rather than how it made them feel, with women more likely than men to favour the rational approach.

Social media was seen as a no-no by consumers when it comes to product launches: only four per cent base their buying decision for new items on social buzz and only nine per cent want websites for new products to contain content they can share online. Which, presumably, shows that people don’t trust the people who punt products on social media – who have often been paid to do so.

Five by Five managing director Jo White says: “The appetite for new products and services is clear for all to see and a great launch should be the springboard for success. However, the fact that so few have been truly memorable shows there’s a huge opportunity for brands in this area.

“Launches can be highly stressful, terrifying, exciting and wonderful. The best ones have a unifying golden thread, tell a meaningful story and are highly co-ordinated.”

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