If you selected moms, you were right. Gold star for you.
UGOBE (the makers of this new robotic dinosaur called the Pleo) originally thought children were the target market. Wrong.
They found out by doing something any company could do. The developers sent an e-mail survey to the 1,900 people who had registered at the pre-launch site they put together for Pleo, says this interesting article in SeattlePI.com blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/entrepreneursjourney/archives/129929.asp.
The biggest surprise they learned from this survey was that women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s thought the Pleo was wonderful. It brought out their nurturing instinct, writes marketer Raed Malhas, the founder of online community http://www.mineeds.com/.
The marketing team for Pleo now knew who to target. So, they developed a marketing message targeted for women, which positioned Pleo as the cute family pet.
If you take a look at the home page for Ugobe http://www.ugobe.com/ you can see this message in action.
"My children could grow up with a pet that never dies," is the message in one.
Mind you, at $349 it is not exactly a toy you find in goodie bags at kid's parties.
Takeaway: No-one knows for sure, but about 90% of new products either fail or never reach sales goals.
A simple e-mail survey may prevent your new product or service from going the same way as the dinosaurs. Extinct.