Launching a product in an established industry is extremely difficult.

Customers may have a perceived expectation of what the product should be, and how it should compare to products that are already in the market.

Understanding your customer is often quoted as essential in most areas of marketing.

However, sometimes the message is lost when brands are swept away in the launch of what they perceive to be ‘the next big thing’.

In this post I will navigate the world of the product launch by explaining the importance of market research and the understanding of key demographics.

Focusing on one area of the consumer tech industry, television, there are several case studies that would have benefited from consumer insights.

3D TV and consumer perception 

3D TV was heralded as the must-have product for all consumers - the future of television.

It was launched with great expense and advertising campaigns proclaiming it to be the newest, most exciting form of electronic innovation. However, it ignored the most important aspect of a launch – the perception of consumers.

When looking at the data provided by Voucher Codes Pro, 3D TV owners were negative about the usability of the product.

Nearly 80% of those surveyed said that they regretted buying the product. This was due to a host of reasons, including feelings of nausea brought on by use of the product.

This is an example of how consumer research could have been used to alter the marketing strategy or the product itself pre-launch.

Instead of having information provided by consumers who had already purchased the product, pre-launch insights could have been used to determine whether the product would prove popular with buyers.

By looking at the comments of early adopters and potential customers the companies would have been aware of the negativity before embarking on an expensive campaign which ultimately ended in negative reviews impacting sales.

4K TVs and demographics

The emergence of 4K TVs has seen plenty of buzz online but has not resulted in many purchases. There are several reasons why this could be.

By looking into the historical data surrounding the product it was clear that there were three potential demographics that would have been interested in buying the product upon its launch.

TV/film buffs, avid gamers and those in the computing community were identified as those groups who had the most amount of conversation surrounding the product.

There was some opposition to the initial concept coming from these groups. When diving into the data the demographic segments had several key consumer concerns. 

Firstly, the price of the product was identified as a barrier for consumers. All of the three groups had this as a major concern highlighting it as setback for the brand.

More specifically for the TV/movie fanatics, the large file size and the lack of movies available meant that this product was not suited to their specific interests and would cause them difficulty.

By segmenting these demographics, 4K TV manufacturers could highlight any negatives and also the positives.

Innovators can use this data to prepare for potential hurdles to commercial success before the product is released.

Data can be further segmented by region, psychographics, language, age and others filters highlighting even more avenues for effective innovations. 

It is imperative to consider whether the market is truly ready for a product, and not just rely on the brand having faith in its abilities.

The story of 3D and 4K TVs highlight that breaking into a market can be difficult, regardless of belief in a product.

For more on this topic, read our post on how to use social media monitoring for market research.

Joel Windels

Published 7 November, 2014 by Joel Windels

Joel is Marketing Manager EMEA at Brandwatch and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Linkedin.

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Comments (2)



Thanks Joel, nice example of directed social listening. To nitpick, I wouldn't call these "demographic" targets though, the segmentation seems lifestyle-based.

almost 4 years ago


Michael Kalynyuk

Thank you, Joel!

This is a great comparison and very much inline with what I thought when I saw these TVs for the first time. The clarity and resolution on the 4K TVs, especially the Samsung models, is just astonishing, however, as soon as you look at the price of the TV, you almost care less about how great it is because you can't afford it. If you can't afford it, everything else is kind of irrelevant.

I am an MBA student at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. For my Marketing Management class, I am completing a marketing plan for a local web developer that came out with a family oriented digital photo sharing service back in 2003, didn't know how to market it and basically set it aside to focus on his other web projects. Now with Shutterfly, Snapfish, Flickr, Dropbox, and countless other competitors out there presently, he wants to "resurrect" this photo sharing service because he sees his business as original. My class group and I have gone through a great amount of work updating this service to meet modern demands of the target market for this service, which in our opinion are baby boomers. Now our main issue is figuring out how to target this market. We are thinking about starting locally and targeting the local populations through direct marketing and social media marketing, however I think the success of such a service really depends on reaching customers on a larger scale. Can you recommend some research tips and a personal opinion about some of the hurdles one with such a business would have reentering the photo sharing market that is already saturated?

His emphasis is preserving family history through photos.
Feedback from other users is also welcome!

Thank you,


almost 4 years ago

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