Think your product is market ready? Think again.

June 14, 2018

Authored by
Authored by

Tania Cavaiuolo

I remember the first time I considered what’s involved in getting a product to market.

Early in my marketing studies, I had to analyse self-heating cans to consider what is needed to make sure a product is market ready.

The idea of self-heating cans was this: a person could take a can from the pantry shelf or pick one up at a train-station vending machine and simply push a button to trigger a chemical reaction that would heat the liquid inside.

Ultimate coffee convenience on the go.

But a big part of making sure a product is market ready is understanding how people experience it. And there were challenges for this innovation.

  1. With heating, came noise. Enough noise to attract the concerned attention of people nearby.  Never a good think to have a hissing metal container in the hands of a stranger on a bus.
  2. Inconsistent heating. Variances in outside temperature affected the end temperature of the drink and the can itself. Sometimes too cold, other times uncomfortably hot.
  3. Availability, taste and appeal of substitutes. Sure it’s faster than lining up for a barista-blend, but the trade off between taste, variety and convenience is important to consider.
  4. Product form. We simply aren’t used to drinking hot drinks from a can. Cans are for icy beers and cola. And if you think about cold coffee drinks, they hit the shelves in screw-top PET bottles, tetra-packs and glass. Not cans. It’s possible, but very hard to shift entrenched habits.

Search for self-heating cans. You’ll get photos – I couldn’t legally include one here – and a breakdown of the chemical heating process and news stories including Nescafe’s take on why it abandoned the idea after investing more than $20 million in research and development, marketing and production.

It takes more than an innovative idea to create a winning product. Market testing is an important step in the process of getting any product or service to market. Understanding the customer journey is critical.

"Tania respectfully moved us beyond our conventional approaches. Today our business is thriving again and our digital presence and content strategy has emerged to become a business strength."
Daryl Bateman
CEO, COTA Insurance
Meet the Founder

Tania Cavaiuolo is a Certified Practising Marketer and experienced communications practitioner with more than 15 years of experience across the for-profit, for-purpose and government sectors.

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