3 New Product Successes (And Why They Won)

For a successful product launch, it is crucial to examine the accomplishments of other brands and companies; even a casual look at relevant case studies and statistics can teach invaluable lessons about boosting your bottom line with a new product.


Below, we’ve provided three product stories that, in particular, exemplify how shared social experiences, innovation, and smart marketing can propel your brand to the top.


pokemon go mindsumo

1. Pokémon Go (Android/iOS app, 2016)

How successful was it?

Pokémon Go, a mobile augmented-reality game from developer Niantic Labs based on the beloved franchise, released in 2016—and was an instant phenomenon. Go’s first adopters were the coveted millennial age group, which propelled its popularity. Within a week of launch, more Android users had downloaded the game than the dating app Tinder, and shares in Pokémon’s parent company Nintendo had risen by $7 billion; in the app’s first 80 days, it garnered over 550 million installs and brought in over $470 million in total revenue.


To this day, the game still powers on, netting $1 billion in revenue for Nintendo and Niantic Labs as of July 2018. This is a product that changed gaming.

Why it was successful

It’s easy to chalk up the app’s popularity to its initial millennial audience—after all, many in that demographic were children or young teens when the mainstream Pokémon games first emerged. However, statistics show that plenty outside this age range also play the game, likely because of its freemium payment structure and, according to audience surveys, the game’s simplicity. (Indeed, the game is so easy to pick up that it has attracted over 6.6 million new gamers in the US, UK, and parts of Europe.)


It’s not just nostalgia. The main drive of Pokémon Go is its social experience and the manner in which the game, overall, engages its users. The app requires players to walk out in the real world to capture its titular monsters and hatch eggs—a feature that 25% of players called their favorite. Out in that real world, users can meet others with the same goal; the game essentially fostered a group narrative that players truly enjoyed.


As one older player stated:


It’s not just getting out in the world. It’s that players see others out in the world. Pass a stranger who is obviously playing and smiles are exchanged….And there are the conversations which inevitably take place because a shared experience has sprung up where none existed before.


In short: Pokémon Go created a totally novel, shared social experience for numerous age groups, and that experience made it one of the most successful mobile games of all time. (Its ease-of-use helped, too.)


apple ipad mindsumo

2. iPad 1st Gen (Apple tablet, 2010)

How successful was it?

The iPad needs little introduction, and its historic first generation launch solidified it as a technological mainstay. In its first week, it sold over 450,000 units; in its first year, it sold 19 million. This little tablet soon overtook the DVD player as the top-selling gadget of all time, and by 2012, Apple had shipped over 55 million iPads of across all generations. To put this statistic into perspective, Apple CEO Tim Cook remarks:


“55 million iPads shipped is something no one would have guessed, including us. It took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took 5 years to sell 55 million iPods. It took three years for us to ship that many iPhones. The trajectory is off the charts.”


Apple created a truly revolutionary product, and the numbers show it.

Why it was successful

To create the iPad, Apple built upon previous concepts while championing innovation, as always—and this merger of old and new ensured the iPad’s success.


Apple visionary and then-CEO Steve Jobs wanted to create a product that, in terms of capability, stood somewhere between laptops and smartphones. Tablets, before 2010, simply were not much of a winning proposition for any tech company, but Apple (and Jobs) strove to produce something that was lightweight, had a long battery life, and possessed a responsive, high-quality touch screen unseen before on the market. In essence, the company pushed the innovation envelope.


But Apple did so while building off of tech it had already established. Because of the success of the iPhone and the App Store, many of Apple’s targeted consumers knew how to use the iPad already, as it launched with, and used, the same software. (Additionally, for those unfamiliar with Apple products, the touchscreen was fairly intuitive.)


In short: with the iPad, Apple created a successful product by merging both old and innovative concepts.


warby parker mindsumo

3. Warby Parker (Eyewear frames, 2010)

How successful was it?

Warby Parker launched in 2010 and, according to its website, is “able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price” by “circumventing traditional channels.” After launching, the company hit its first-year sales target in just under three weeks. Today, Warby Parker has an estimated value of over $1 billion, and experiences substantial growth: the company’s revenue increased 19.5% from 2016 to 2017, for example. In addition, the number of new buyers grew 12.4% that same year.

Why it was successful

This is a company that knew its target market—millennials, who still retain the most brand loyalty out of all Warby Parkers’ consumers. Millennials appreciate having choices and often value experiences over products. Additionally, millennials enjoy when the brands they like practice corporate social responsibility. Warby Parker tapped into all these traits to sell their eyewear.


For instance, Warby Parker has inexpensively sold over 1 million pairs of glasses to people in developing countries through its “buy-a-pair, give-a-pair” program, which undoubtedly sparks a sense of charity in the company’s millennial audience. Warby Parker is also well-known for breaking the eyewear monopoly and aims to design an eyewear “experience” for its consumers. It’s a millennial’s dream company, and its presence on social media among influencers reinforces its brand.


In short: Warby Parker tapped hard into its chosen demographic and, in doing so, launched a $1 billion brand.


There are, of course, innumerable product launch case studies out there, but these three new product stories in particular show us that shared social experiences, innovation, and smart marketing can propel your brand to the top. When you create your Mindsumo Challenges, consider integrating the lessons from these success stories for a more targeted experience. Learn more about Mindsumo’s crowdsourced insights and bring out-of-the-box thinking to your next launch.


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