Stop Trying To Make Fetch Happen: The Blog Post

Nick Metha

That is so fetch.

Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen, it’s not going to happen.

“Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen” is a memorable quote uttered by the character Regina George in the 2004 teen comedy film Mean Girls to discourage her friend Gretchen from using the slang term “fetch.”

Regina is your customer. Fetch is your product. 

Brands are constantly striving to find that ultimate “fetch” moment for products, trying to get product into the hands of notable consumers and elicit a positive response. Too often, brands approach this in a backwards manner, releasing product before attaining critical feedback. When feedback and consumer insight is not valued at the executive level the product disbursed doesn’t have a chance of becoming widely adopted.

So, How Does Fetch Happen?

You don’t make fetch happen, fetch happens over time. With multiple iterations in product based on user experience and qualitative feedback. Fetch happens when you get into the wild and understand how, why, when, and where consumers are using your product. Fetch happens when you’re able to build something that people value at it’s specific price point. Fetch happens when your product’s marketing is completely inline with the product functionality and the consumers aspirations. Fetch happens when you take all of this feedback into account, and address it at every point of your product. Fetch happens over time. It takes research, data, qualitative feedback, years of experience.

Fetch does not happen on the first iteration of your product, or with the first company you build. 

So you want to be fetch? Let’s look at some tools and tips that will help your business evaluate demand and pivot based on feedback.

How To Evaluate Consumer Demand

Leverage digital tools that can help you understand the impact of your target market in select channels. For example, if you wanted to start an ecommerce retailer specializing in custom pillow cases – a great place to start would be to use Google’s search tools – and find out how many people are searching for your product online – to begin evaluating the efficacy of a demand based strategy.

Leverage offline tools and REAL HUMAN BEINGS; Qualitative demand is important. Reach out to existing and potential customers and understand the real life application of your product. It’s important that you get down to the root of consumer issues with face to face conversations. How often is it being used, who is it being used by, can we alter this in any way to make it more functional, can we design this in anyway to make it more appealing.

If you’re trying to create a new product category in which demand does not already exist, qualitative feedback will be your biggest proponent. Just ensure this feedback is coming from unbias sources, and not your internal and executive team. In those cases, most products fail. This feedback can be collected via digital tools or offline processes.

How To Evaluate Product Efficacy

Measure your customers success with the product, and your customer’s happiness with said product – and understand that neither are necessary or sufficient conditions for success; Your product can be efficient in attaining its end goals, but create a feeling of unhappiness with your consumer, and vice-versa. Nailing a perfect balance, is what makes product fetch.

Leverage online tools such as GetFeedback, FullStory, Intercom, to allow your business a scalable feedback mechanism. Understand that these online tools can also help aid in measuring offline products and services.

Leverage offline focus groups. There are companies who focus (no pun intended) on surveying consumers in an un-bias fashion. These companies can be a big push in the right direction for evaluating product efficacy prior to launch.

Where Fetch Happens

Understand that fetch happens in the eyes of your consumers at mass. Not in the eyes of your executive team, or in the eyes of select consumers. Fetch is a widely adopted concept that takes great process and mass amounts of experience into account to produce a significant result.

There is a reason that businesses have such a high failure rate agnostic of industry – that being, most product (and service) is not at par with consumer expectations and demand. And that most businesses don’t have the financial runway to overcome this learning and iterate on product in a responsive manner. With enough time, and enough runway (resource) there is no reason that any problem cannot be solved.

Nick Metha