A wise person once told me that sometimes “no” simply means “not yet.” Easier said than done, particularly in the CPG world, when huge stakes are riding the new products that constitute our company’s lifeblood.
Coming from a consumer marketing and product background—working with industry leaders including Disney, Mattel, Hasbro, Lowe’s and Rubbermaid—I encountered many such inflection points when we felt the market was saying “no” to a new product launch. In fact, our modus operandi seemed to be as follows: Build it, push with promises, and pull with traditional media—and then abandon it if it did not immediately hit. But one thing I can say with certainty, particularly in today’s marketplace—the “cut and run” approach is not nearly as universal. Sometimes success requires us to commit to a longer-term relationship with our consumer. And, as we’ll see, the platform of social media can be the soapbox that can turn the spark into a flame.