Which of these products failed to get one buyer?

In this post, I will give you two examples of products/services I developed and offered in the past year. One had zero customers and the other had 20 customers. I will also tell you what the difference between these two products are so you can know what kind of products sell and what kind of products bomb and become utter failures. Let’s see if you can guess which was the disaster product before you finish reading this post.

The First Product

The first was a wedding website design service I started with my wife. One day, I noticed that she spent hours looking at wedding websites put up by her friends on Facebook and I thought that it would be a good idea to start such a service. We decided to build and develop wedding websites for couples-to-be. I had a some expertise in Flash and I could easily contract some of the design work to offshore providers.The website was set up, all the SEO work was done to rank for the necessary keywords, a Facebook Page was set up and it has about 805 fans today. All was set for launch, so now let me tell you about the other product I started in the past year.

The Second Product

Some of you know I am also a Software Developer during the day and James Tayo, the Entrepreneur blogger at night. My developer alter-ego had to study for a specific certification in SAP Business Intelligence which is the software that a lot of Fortune 500 companies use to manage their business processes. In the course of studying for that certification, I noticed literally thousands of people on forums and discussion sites had a difficulty getting a job in SAP. This was mostly due to the great package SAP consultants get and the high demand for such consultants. It was also a very competitive market, and I knew that a lot of these people will benefit from using personal branding and social media to get ahead of the competition.

This was how another idea came into my mind to set up a membership site that will tend to this audience and show them how to use the cutting edge strategies of blogging and personal branding, that we so take for granted, to get their first SAP job. In this case, I set up a membership site using Wishlist member and Wordpress, produced the content in multimedia format (video, audio and text). I got two big bloggers in the field to promote the product and send me some traffic. All was set for launch day.

Which product bombed?

Can you guess which product bombed and had zero clients and which went on to get 20 customers and 2 sign-ups a week? As I write this post, I actually changed my mind, I was going to reveal which was the disaster product but I want to know your thoughts on this one. Please leave a comment and tell me which product you think did well and why you think it did well. I will reveal the answer in my next post.

How to know upfront if your product will fail

In one of my previous posts, I described two online products I developed in the past year. I challenged the readers to guess which product was a total failure that generated no sales and which went on to sell 20 copies and generates about 2 sales per week. If you haven’t read the previous post which describes these two products, you should do so here. Which of these two products failed to get one buyer? Now I am going to reveal the failed product and why it did fail.

The wedding website service was the one that had no clients. The concept was a nice one, as the idea came to mind when I discovered my wife (then girlfriend) looking at a lot of wedding websites on Facebook. Although this site has a Page 1, Number 1 ranking on Google for its main keyword, had visits from about 50 people a day, a Facebook Fan page with over 800 fans, it still failed to get one client. This came as a surprise to me but in retrospect after taking a closer look at the business model and the motivations behind a potential client, I came up with this explanation of why it failed and I would like to know if you agree with me.

Ease pain or cater to passion or forget it

What I found out is (and this is advice I have heard multiple times from different sources but I did not heed to it), It simply boils down to this one sentence, your product must ease your clients pain points or cater to an irrational passion of thiers. If it doesn’t do any of the two then you might as well forget about it and give up. The products that meets either or both conditions are the most successful products in the world. An example of products that ease pain is weight loss or dating products. These products cater to the pain people wanting to look beautiful and attract the opposite sex. Two examples of products that cater to a market with irrational passion is the Apple consumer market or the World of Warcraft Game series. The customers of these products are so passionate that they would buy almost any accessory that complements their devices.

Why the Wedding website service failed

Now let me get back to the two products in question and relate this two conditions to them. The wedding services market is obviously one that falls into the irrational passion category. Bride-to-be’s would do anything to get the best wedding dress, wedding cake or wedding photography. If you offer great products in these categories, you will do well. A wedding website comes at the bottom of the list when it comes to priorities and the list of things that make up a perfect wedding. At a price point of about $500, this is one consideration that the bride-to-be might decide against. At best, it is kind of the icing on the cake. Now, if I were to offer website design services to wedding vendors to help them market their products better, that would be a successful product if marketed well because this eases the pain of the vendors having no clients for their services.

Why SAP Unveiled is a success

This brings me to the SAP Unveiled website which is a membership site that gives information to people looking to break into the field of SAP and how best to go about it, using social media, personal branding and finding companies that will hire newbies to train them. I discovered that there were so many posts in all the forums i visited and the two main questions were. “How can I get an SAP job without experience?” and “How do I choose which module to go for?”. This obviously was a pain point for many of these people and I knew I could give them an answer.

I launched the site and had about 10 people sign up in the week of the launch and every week I get two new sign-ups. At $29, it is not a lot but for my very first product on the internet, I think I am doing well, that is still $240 a month which can be improved by tightening up the sales funnel and optimization. The end game is to be useful to your client. They need to see your product and say to themselves, “That is what I need right now, this will solve my problem”. If you can get them to say that and with some good marketing in the background, your job is so much easier and you will have a successful business.