By leveraging guerilla marketing tactics and direct marketing approaches in their launch of new product/service innovations, companies gain another critically important benefit.  The immediate feedback that these approaches provide allow a company to hone and perfect both their product and their message prior to major ramp up and spending. 

Even large companies like P&G are learning to innovate, adapt and evolve during their product launches.  In launching Mr. Clean AutoDry Car Wash, Dryel and other innovations, they are leveraging a web presence and DRTV to create initial awareness and confirm their marketing messages prior to mass retail rollout and national advertising support.

So if you’re trying to get innovation launched successfully, rethink your approach and leverage the tactics used by entrepreneurs and start-ups: launch fast, fail early, adapt/evolve, win big.

Quixtar is a great example of completely missing the boat. Quixtar launched fast in 1999, failed, and was perhaps on the road to winning big, had they learned to adapt and evolve.

When Quixtar launched, the affiliated Amway Kingpins told their people that it was never more important to plug into the system of books, tapes, and meetings at the launch of Quixtar’s web based business. Yet, there is nothing web based about cassette tapes and meetings.

Some speculate that the launch of Quixtar was an effort by the corporation to put the clamps in the Kingpins tools business. Well, that didn’t work. So what did Amway/Quixtar do? Did they evolve and adapt? You be the judge.