2015 was the year of new industry. Wearable tech connecting your accessories right to your devices, virtual reality products streaming live to your smart phone, even artisan bakeries specializing in cannabis related items. With the recent legalization of marijuana is several states, the market for cannabis-based products is not only primed for the taking but also largely unexplored. Brands specializing in marijuana based products are facing a new problem that brands across many markets may find themselves in soon; what marketing blueprint do you follow when the market is brand new? First instinct might lead brands to want to be the first one in print leading the charge in a new industry. But sometimes being the pioneer of a product can lead to snafus and mishaps you might not see coming.
What This Means for Brands:
It can certainly be exciting to be the first brand to make a splash on the cover of The New York Times for braving uncharted waters. But the first to rise are often the first to fall, leaving your competitors room to fix the problems that consumers find with the first product to hit the market. Instead of rushing to be the first to do something brands should focus on being the first to do something right.
Back in their heyday, you couldn’t step foot in most schools in America with seeing the bold logo of Abercrombie & Fitch on everyone’s clothes. But the brand that revolutionized teen fashion has failed to both keep up with changing tastes and lower price points rivaled by competitors. With brands like Forever21 and H&M making wardrobe essentials both affordable and trendy, there’s no room left in the conversation for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, who have quickly fallen towards last place.
Brands should focus on the conversation surrounding the industry and use the mistakes made by their competitors to ensure their product is the one that rises to the top. After the hype has settled down it comes down to the product you put out. Rushing to release the product first could lead to a litany of issues that end up tarnishing the name of your brand and new product.
In a world where one negative Youtube review by an industry influencer can change the opinion of your product, sometimes being the first to cross the finish line can still leave you in dead last when it comes to revenue and customer opinion.