Why do so many new products fail?

Often new products fail because there is no perceived need for them. That is, they don’t solve a real consumer problem.

What is it that makes a problem “real?”

For that answer, like all marketing/business/strategy answers, we have to ask the ultimate expert in our business, THE CUSTOMER! Whatever “real problems” we think our product solves is irrelevant. Unless the customer agrees that a problem exists and perceives our product as the solution (and recall, a product can be a good, a service, and idea or a combination of all three), we don’t have anything to offer them.

How will we know if we have a winner?

Asking the customer before we begin the design the product (and, once again, the “product” can be a good, service, idea or some combination!), and continuing to involve them in the development of the product are two effective actions. But often, the only way to know if we have a winner or loser is to launch the product. Until the customers own and use it, they (and we) won’t really know if we have a winner or a loser.

This is why our marketing information systems should be considered an investment rather than an expense! And also why marketing may seem simple in theory but tough, tough, tough in practice!

Marketing isn’t brain surgery. You can learn brain surgery.” – Jack Trout