If you wanted to start a new business but knew it only had a five percent chance of success, would you go ahead? Many would say no. Despite the bleak future of these products, thousands of companies start the tedious launch of new products each year. Often times, they don’t understand the main reasons why most products fail and how to improve their chances.
We are not pessimists either. According to Harvard Professor Clayton ChristensenOf over 30,000 new products introduced each year, 95 percent fail. So why the miserable success rate and what can be done to make sure your product isn’t just another statistic?
Here are six top reasons most products fail and our tips for success.
Bad product / market adaptation
When developing a product, companies often fail to carry out an adequate market analysis at an early stage. This leads to a vague understanding of the target audience of the product and possibly complete targeting of the wrong market. If the market doesn’t care about your product, you’ve failed before you even started.
TIP: Do your due diligence by conducting unbiased research into your target market and expectations for a product like yours.
Not responding to real consumer needs
In our work as product developers, we see many product ideas that are fascinating, but only solve non-existent problems. Often, this is because companies are so excited about their own product vision that they are unwilling or unable to hear user feedback – especially if it’s negative. You certainly need a good level of focus and tenacity when developing a product, but not when that prevents you from responding to the real needs and wants of customers.
TIP: Solicit feedback on product features from potential users (don’t ignore negative feedback!), And then see if they resonate with your marketing messages. If not, it’s time to get back to the drawing board.
Longer product launch
According to the Center for New Product Development, the average new product development project exceeds its schedule by 120 percent. However, if a company takes too long to get a new product to market, it can lead to disaster. Perhaps customer needs have changed or the market itself has evolved. Or the entire economy may have experienced a downturn (as we are currently seeing due to the COVID pandemic). Any of these variables can be factors that explain why most products fail because they mean lost sales and market share.
TIP: To start on time, you need to understand 1) the competitive landscape and 2) the unmet needs of the customer in the market that your product needs to work in, and then be able to address the latter as cheaply as possible. They also work with a experienced product development company will help both reduce the number of product changes and make better decisions faster.
Products don’t keep their promises
When a company makes bold promises about a product, but these are not kept in the hands of the consumer, its performance in the marketplace suffers. There are a number of ways a product can disappoint its end user. The product may be the victim of poor design or a lack of quality control at various stages of development and manufacture, resulting in significant flaws.
TIP: Don’t promise too much and deliver too little. When consumers are guaranteed that your product addresses a specific problem, they expect it to work.
Lack of internal skills
If the new product development team does not have the skills and resources to develop products that meet actual customer needs, then it is highly unlikely that the product will be brought to life in any meaningful way. Think of it this way: if you have a weak team, you have a weak product.
TIP: If your in-house skills are lacking, consider Product development outsourcing to a resilient team that is well equipped to handle challenges that can arise at any stage of the process.
A poorly executed product launch
Regardless of which product is brought to market, extensive advertising efforts and access to the channels necessary for sales are usually required. However, when launches don’t have an effective marketing effort or are on a budget, that’s another major reason most products fail.
TIP: Don’t under-fund your marketing efforts. Build a team experienced in your industry with the connections it takes to activate a new channel to market.
Would you like to test your product idea?
If you are unsure whether your product idea is a good one, we have a quick and inexpensive option to test it out. Our four-step process will help you determine whether or not your product can be successful in the market. The Idea Tester system first guides you through the description of the problem solved by your idea and the definition of your idea (without disclosing your IP). Next, we’ll help you define your target buyers. We then interview target groups, analyze the data and make this research available to you in a detailed report. Finally, our team will present this report – and recommendations for the next steps – to you via video call.
Contact us to learn more about this service and how it can improve your chances of success.
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