GTM Unleashed: What Triggers Your Product to Get Traction? The Unvarnished Truth

Alright, sit down and shut up because you need a reality check. 

I have had one blazing failure of an enterprise.  It was a humbling and great learning experience.  I saw a consumer-packed goods product (CPG) in the UK that I thought would sell like hotcakes in the US.  I secured massive distribution from grocery to large-box retail and convenience stores to club stores.  What did I do wrong?  I misjudged the finicky buyer behavior in the USA. Never, ever, ever (did I say ever?) will I make that costly mistake again.  

You’ve built a product, and now you’re sitting there, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the world to notice. Stop it. Now. Traction isn’t some mystical unicorn that just trots into your life; it’s triggered, ignited, and detonated. So, what lights the fuse?

First, dump the ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality – my mistake above. That’s for fairytales and baseball movies. In the cold, hard business world, you don’t just build something unique and expect people to fall in line like well-trained soldiers. That’s not how it works. That’s never how it works.

You get traction through solving a legitimate problem that your market didn’t even realize was a problem. You awaken them to their ignorance and provide a solution. It’s not about filling a gap but creating a chasm and building the only bridge across it. You need to become a need, not a want. Trust me, ‘wants’ are the first thing people cut from their lives in times of difficulty. Needs? They’ll sell their grandma’s heirloom to keep those.

And listen, don’t underestimate the alchemy of timing and the zeitgeist of the market. Your product might be genius, but if the market isn’t ready or doesn’t realize it needs to be ready, then you’re just a clanging cymbal in the cacophony of failed ventures.

Getting traction is like setting off a well-calculated chain reaction; every element must be meticulously placed, the conditions must be ideal, and then you strike the match. If done right, it’s not just an explosion; it’s a symphony.

To wrap it up, I’ll leave you with this gem from marketing guru Seth Godin: “Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.” It’s not about pushing what you have; it’s about pulling them in with what they desperately need but don’t yet know. It’s a trigger, not a plea. Pull it.

Like this message? Give me two minutes a day and I’ll help you scale your business so that customers are willing to pay a premium for what you offer and keep paying for it.