Often in business, it is easy to produce a product that you believe will be successful but unfortunately fails miserably. The best method to ensure success is to perform a consumer study. Often assumptions that may initially be accurate can ultimately prove to be the downfall.
Case in point; during these harsh economic times it is assumed that the cheapest product will generate the most sales. Although the initial assumption may be accurate, if the lower cost is the result of lower quality there may be some long-term negative implications. For example, I recently purchased some dog food from a relatively well-known brand. Although the specific blend of food was not recognized, the brand was and the price was attractive. However, approximately two hours after consumption of this new dog food, the gassy odor propelling from the dogs brought everyone in the room to immediate tears.
It was New Year’s Eve and since we were staying up late eating good food (waiting for the stroke of midnight), I thought the dogs should share in the festivities. I obtained new dog food earlier in the day and although the dogs typically only eat in the morning, being New Year’s Eve I thought they too deserved the treat of eating late. Needless to say, this decision was one that I would soon regret.
As we watched the ball falling in Time Square on the television, I noticed a tear in my wife’s eye. I assumed that it was just the emotions of saying goodbye to a very difficult year and gleefully welcoming in a New Year. Suddenly a noxious odor hit me immediately activating my tear ducts. As I tried to restore my vision, I heard my wife shout “Winston.” Somehow the reaction of this new dog food defied the laws of physics. My four-pound dog exhausted in excess of 60 pounds of pressured gas.
Temperatures were in the 30s but we were forced to open windows to ventilate the house. There was no audible sound heard when the gas was released, but there was an easy visual confirmation with the expression of relief clearly evident on Winston’s face. There was about a five-second delay from expression to pungent odor. I guess it could be argued that it was the ironic (yet poetic) ending of the year…….the cherry topping the end of a stinky year.
Nonetheless, it took several hours for the frequency of the gas release to lessen making it impossible to go to sleep. With Winston sleeping on the bottom of the bed, I nuzzled up close to my wife. She attempted to push me away assuming that I was attempting a romantic advanced. Obviously, the smell in the room was not that of roses – it was a smell that would quickly evaporate the romantic spirit of any individual. Truth be known, I was nuzzling up to my wife in an effort to bury my face in her hair in an attempt to use it as a natural air filter.
In the end, not much sleep was had that night. The next morning I immediately disposed of the new dog food and quickly purchased the dependable more expensive dog food. The old cliché is true…..You Get What You Pay For.
Although the assumption was correct that the cheapest product would generate more sales, it was a short-sided assumption. It may generate a spike in first-time sales, but there will be no repeat business. In addition…..although the product was only one of the many products produced by a well-known manufacturer, as a result of this experience it is doubtful that we would purchase any products from this manufacturer in the future. Although it is unknown what (if any) pre-release consumers testing actually took place, it can only be assumed that it was limited in scope and completely insufficient.
Nonetheless, it is highly recommended to always perform an in-depth consumer study to increase the probability of success as we
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.