How to be certain you have the market insights required for a successful product launch_header

How to be certain you have the market insights required for a successful product launch

Published April 20, 2023 | Written by Ana STOYANOVA


Are you struggling to determine if you have the capacity to gain an accurate and deep market understanding to commercialize your new product? 
Here is a simple way to help you get a clear overview of the current situation and also avoid the risks through your product’s commercialization. It only takes a team brainstorming session to get an impartial and realistic vision of your actual starting point. 
Take a few minutes and think about:
  • Where exactly do you stand with this technology?
  • What does remain unaccomplished?
  • What piece of information are you missing in order to prioritize your next steps?

Now, lets unpack three critical dimensions for a successful product launch.



THE LEVEL OF CERTAINTY: Where do you stand today?

Start by listing what you actually know (existing learnings and internal company knowledge, documents, data) at this point of time with regards to:

  • your product’s technical aspects (i.e., key features, performance benefits, comparison to benchmark)
  • the potential marketing dynamics (i.e., pricing vs. benchmark)
  • your company technical service globally and regionally (i.e., your supply capacity, samples availability, customers’ technical support)
  • your market connections or the early industry contacts you have for this technology

Let’s take an example:

  • Your R&D team has developed a new monomer
  • Some functions and key features have been identified as compelling (i.e., improved hardness, higher flexibility, faster curing)
  • Your team has built a first technical data package to prove the performances
  • Samples are available globally
  • You have a few first contacts with potentially interested customers, but the value proposition and priority applications are not clear
  • Anything else? 

Our recommendations: Make it simple and honest. List only points that can be supported with data. Your wishes and hopes will come in the next stage.



YOUR HYPOTHESIS: What are your expectations for this product and its technical and market performance?

To minimize risk, you do not want to take decisions based on unverified expectations, so list every point that cannot be supported by numbers or substantial insights. Now, list out what you might be hoping for based on the actual knowledge.

For example, based on:

  • the R&D team's existing industry knowledge
  • the internal lab tests showing better material performance characteristics in comparison to a competitive additive grade
  • the first positive technical feedback from actual customers  
… we think that:
  • the new agent is rather unique
  • it will have a great potential in coatings and adhesives formulations

Our recommendations: do not forget that those are just expectations. Whatever bright future and success you have imagined for your technology, it does come from limited market sources and limited information, so there is still a high degree of uncertainty around it.


THE LEVEL OF UNCERTAINTY: What critical information do you still need to answer before you launch your new product?


Think about the meaningful and important market insights that are critical for taking decisions and more importantly – further investing in your new product. Once those points are properly defined, the next steps can be organized with much more clarity and precision.

To continue with our previous example, here are a few key questions that may translate to your situation.

  • How will the market react to the new monomer?
  • What are the most promising applications within the coatings and adhesives segments?
  • What are the major competitive solutions in these applications?
  • What are the drivers to adopt this material?
  • What are the barriers to adopting this material?
  • What are the formulators’ technical requirements?
  • What is the missing technical data to convince future customers?
  • Who are the priority customers? Who will value the new material?
  • Is the value proposition strong enough to target them?

Our recommendations: keep in mind the response to what you are looking for might not be the one you and your management want to hear. Remember – the reality can be rather hard, but this is good news: The earlier you discover the truth, the more resources and investments you will save.

Taking a couple of months to walk through these 3 stages (even if you are advanced and on the verge of launching) often makes R&D teams and product developers realize there are still critical questions to tackle to improve the level of certainty. Knowing distinctly what is missing is critical to successfully commercialize a new product and is a big step to win the R&D commercialization race. 

This process has never let us down and we have used this in hundreds of market insight projects for our clients (see how we work here). Why?

  • It helps us build a tailor-made approach for each product, material, chemical or technology
  • It serves as a guideline all along our project timeline to ensure that we stay on track and increase the client's level of certainty by delivering data-driven and actionable insights (see our reach to technical buyers here).

The example we used above is a true story. 

We did this project for a specialty chemical supplier aiming to identify and validate the market interest and the best application opportunities for a new curing agent. From the very start, we structured the methodology using this process, which allowed us to deliver the correct insight during a 5-month market intelligence investigation (discover our customer cases here). 
The mission results proved us that we were on the right path, and answered the 9 questions listed above, supported by significant number of datapoints:

18 months later, the innovative curing agent was successfully launched on the market.

How about your development? Where do you stand today? We look forward to discussing your project with you. Click here to schedule a call  with us.





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