How to Use Crosstab Software to Help Transform Unsuccessful Products

When you have a product that you know in your gut is a winner – but lack of sales is pegging it a loser – you don’t necessarily have to kill it off. You can instead improve the product by finding out why it just doesn’t seem to resonate. Crosstab software can help, with an example below illustrating how.

The Bag No One Buys

Let’s say your company introduced a new messenger bag that had several unique features:

  • Oversized buckles that your sales team insists are hideous (but you adore)
  • Braided leather straps that your HR department says are too short to function properly
  • Two main compartments that your IT manager says aren’t enough to keep things organized
  • A price point of $175, which your marketing teams says is ridiculously high
  • Purple-ish, brownish, yellowish color that your CEO insisted on using since it’s the same color as his house

While no one had any complaints about the bag’s features in the beginning, everyone suddenly blamed one feature or another when they saw the bag wasn’t selling. Instead of relying on random input from your colleagues, however, you decide to launch a product survey across different consumer age groups to see why the bag wasn’t resonating with the crowd.

Survey Results

The survey was simple, focusing mainly on a single, multiple-choice question:

  • What is stopping you from buying this bag?

After gathering the results from a total of 1,800 respondents in six different age groups, you analyzed the data using crosstab software. Here’s what you found:

  High Price Color Straps not comfortable or effective Buckles too bulky Not enough compartments TOTAL
Under 18 11 109 49 2 129 300
18 to 24 43 182 25 0 50 300
25 to 34 32 177 63 0 28 300
35 to 44 0 144 104 1 51 300
45 to 54 2 167 99 4 28 300
55 + 2 190 90 16 2 300
TOTAL 90 969 430 23 288 1800


The color, by far, was the bag’s least liked feature, with more than half of all survey respondents saying the color is the reason they won’t buy the bag.

Worst Features

  • Color: 54 percent
  • Straps: 24 percent
  • Compartments: 16 percent
  • Price: 5 percent
  • Buckles: 1 percent

It appears the color would be the first thing that had to go for many people from any age group to even consider buying the bag. While you could move forward with your bag redesign using the survey totals from all consumers, you could also target a specific age group with your redesign, focusing on responses from that group.

Crosstab software helped you realize the real reason people were not so hot about your new messenger bag while providing deeper insights into consumer sentiments. It also helped your argument for keeping the big buckles firmly in place.