Why you should test before product launch

Aleš Randa

6 min

You've developed a product, prepared everything you need, brought it to market and... nobody buys it. Even though your product is perfect, nobody wants it, no matter what your marketing campaign. According to an analysis by Harvard University, over 30,000 products are launched every year and fail 95% of the time. Their failure is mostly due to brand unpreparedness. If a brand develops a product without considering whether it meets the needs of customers or whether customers are interested in it, it is not surprising that the product will fail.  

The product should be developed with the ideal target customer and the current situation of the market in mind. For this reason, it is a good idea to test the product and your customers' preferences continuously during product development. It is too late to test at the final stage because if the results are not positive, the development team will not have time to modify the product. This means that either the product launch will be delayed due to the development process or it will be launched with a product that is not ideal for it and which may therefore fail.

What are the goals of your testing? 

To ensure that testing goes smoothly and produces the desired results, it's a good idea to determine what the test team should focus on at the outset. Testing of the product can then be structured to fit the product development and planned market launch. 

Is your product what customers want?

Whether it's features or design, it's a good idea to see if you're developing something that your customers will want to buy in the future. Even the best idea and plan can fail on consumer disinterest. If during testing people look at your product and say "that looks like another dust collector" or "what they have at home does the same thing and better", you know exactly where you stand. You can then either change the direction of development so that the product is not a dust collector or that it does the job better than anything your customers have at home. You can even decide that marketing the product is not viable and invest your resources elsewhere and more efficiently. 

Understand and listen to your customers 

Find out how your potential customers perceive your product and what they expect from it. How will they approach the product if they receive limited information from you? Will they assume that the product will have certain features that you didn't include in the development or, conversely, will they miss a key feature that they didn't know existed? The more complex the product, the more important this phase is. Especially when, due to author blindness, the developers no longer realise that an ordinary person would not think to do this and that to make the product work properly.  

Any testing is useless if you refuse feedback. Yes, it's easy to hand-wave over negative results and say they didn't get it and there's nothing wrong with the product. But will the product then sell? Analyse the testers' responses and experiences responsibly and in detail to find out what the problem is. Will the design need to be changed to be more intuitive? Do users need to be properly educated? Have you provided good instruction? Do you have the right target audience? 

These are all questions that are good to ask and good to work with. For this reason, pay attention to the composition of your test groups. They should be the same groups of people who fit your definition of your target audience and ideal customer. Why test a product on someone who will never buy it? Find out how your target group reacts to your product and apply the analyzed data adequately in its development.  

Detect faults at an early stage

Take advantage of testing to discover product and design faults early. If you discover them before the product is launched, you'll reduce the number of problems, unhappy reviews and tarnished reputation of the product and your brand. Whether it's a weak component that breaks, an impractical layout that makes it difficult to handle, or a feature that doesn't meet customer expectations, testing can help you uncover these defects early. You can then modify the product before the general public becomes aware of its defects. In addition, during the testing phase, it is expected that some defects will be discovered. However, they are perceived much more negatively after the product is launched.  

Analyse the feedback and adapt your product accordingly. Test versions of the product as often as possible until the testers' reactions are optimal and they use it comfortably and without problems. Take advantage of having them at your disposal and create a product they can't resist.

Which testing methods should be used?

  • Usability testing
  • A/B testing
  • Beta testing 

Usability testing

Find out how customers use your product. During a test, testers typically try to complete tasks that are typical for the product while their behaviour is observed and recorded. The goal is to identify potential problems during use, collecting data to determine participants' satisfaction with the product. 

A/B testing 

Testing two versions of the products. This testing can be done separately, where each test group has its own version of the product and reacts to it, or combined, where the testers have both versions and compare them. The data collected can be analysed and used to help select the better product variant.  

Beta testing 

Testing the final version of a product to find as many problems and bugs as possible before the product is released. Testing of the product by real users who would use the product in everyday life. Therefore, factors such as non-laboratory environments and general use of the products play a role in this testing. If the product passes the test with no problems found, or if the problems found are resolved, the product can be launched with positive expectations.  

Leverage the data and insights  

Collect and analyse the data. Focus on consumer satisfaction, product performance and design, how consumers use the product, and identify problem and success areas. Then apply this data to marketing strategies and further product development with your target groups in mind. If you want your product to be successful in the marketplace, it's important to test it with testers who match your target market before you launch. The insights you gain will help you create a product that is attractive to consumers and increase your chances of success.  

At Brandtestingclub, we are able to arrange product testing with a specific target group of your choice, both before and after the product launch. Some of our clients use our testers for A/B testing, usability testing and beta testing. We like to meet our clients' needs and our testers appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the development process and the chance to influence the final version of the product. 

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