Octopus Group and Loudhouse have identified three different types of product launch: the Chameleon, the Columbus and the Cuckoo. At a recent breakfast event, MD at Loudhouse Angela Richmond homed in on the Chameleon product launch, and explained how research can give it every chance of success.

The Chameleon takes an existing product and adapts it for new client groups, often in response to customer feedback. it’s smart and adaptable, but can become invisible.

Angela identified two approaches for researching a Chameleon product launch: big picture and deep dive.

• Big picture is used to target segments, use cases and applications, or buyers and influencers
• Deep dive is used to understand what will meet the needs of each segment.

Product director at Gamma, Alan Mackie, also spoke at the event, and shared his experience working with Loudhouse on market research and taking products to market. He said that tech product marketers need to take a step back and look at what it is they’re trying to do. They need to make sure they’re getting to the bottom of the customer’s problem. But they can’t really know what that challenge is unless they conduct research.

Gamma frequently uses the Cuckoo method i.e. it will draw from an existing product model. The team will launch a new product in a known market, or the same product in a new market. It’s unlikely, Alan said, that we will launch a new product in a new market, as that is a risk. But we need to ask ourselves, he said: ‘why will the customer buy this product, and why will they buy it from us?’

One final piece of advice? ‘Don’t leave positioning or marketing until the last minute!’ Alan said, eliciting a knowing chuckle among the marketers in the room.

Our latest report features a breakdown of all three types of product launch: Chameleon, Columbus and Cuckoo. Which resonates with you and your brand? How can you research for that type of launch? And how do you ensure it’s a success?

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