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Critical Review Why Most Product Launches Fail

Paper type: Review
Pages: 4 (911 words)
Categories: Business,Failure,Life,Marketing,Success
Downloads: 28
Views: 503


The debut of a product into the market termed as product launch. The product launch signifies the point at which consumers first have access to a new product. But when it comes to new products, great expectations can doom products that don’t measure up to them. There are more stories of failure than success when it comes to new product launches. Approximately 95 percent of new products introduced each year fail, according to Cincinnati research agency AcuPoll. (Forbes 2010) http://www.


In their article ‘Why Most Product Launches fail’ in Harvard Business Review, April 2011, Joan Schneider and Julie Hall describe five frequent fatal flaws that effect how most of the product launches fail and their lessons.


The Article begins with the introduction, then each flaw is described and the lesson learned by it. Finally there is a conclusion. In the introduction, the writers begins with sharing their experiences related to product launch failures, which they have acquired while doing work as partners in a firm that specializes in product launches .

They then introduces example of a product launch: a private space(cell Zone) where one can talk privately without any nuisance which targets restaurants and public places like former as main market. Product has been unveiled in 2006 and it was a huge hit. However product did not come off as it is expected, because lack of interest of expected customers (restaurant and night clubs) as their clientele was switching form voice call to texting.

The product fails just because not to understand the market before launching it and company bears substantial losses. The writers then give us some qualitative and quantitative information that support how important is to understand market before launch of a product: 75% consumer packaged goods fail to earn $7.5m during their year of launch, just because of consumer shopping habit, and they also cited evidence on average American families repeatedly buy the same 150 items, which constitute 85% of their household needs, less than 3% consumer packaged goods exceed $50M in their first year, which considered to be a highly successful benchmark, which could be rephrase as 97% may fail or may not be that successful. By getting into details it proves that to get something new in market is hard nut to crack.

They then put forward most frequent flaws and the lessons learned one by one. The first flaw is ‘the company cannot support the fast growth’. They take an example of product ‘Mosquito Magnet’ to discuss it. They state that it happened because company (American Biophysices) focus was not in right direction as it was more tilted towards product R&D. The result of this is when company realized that there product became a top selling product they decided to expand, their production and quality dropped, consumer went angry and product went off from the market. To avoid this flaw one should have comprehensive plan before hand to accommodate any certain and uncertain circumstances.

Then they put forward 2nd flaw which is ‘The product falls short of claims and gets bashed’ by considering example of Microsoft Window Vista: it had some performance and compatibility problems, so it did not deliver what it was expected to. This flaw could be eliminated by delaying launch until product get ready. Flaw 3 concerns the new item exist in “product Limbo” it happen because of wrong research and which can end up with hybrid product such as C2(product of coke cola). Consequence of which product got fail , lesson from this mistake is product should be tested to ensure that it benefits are different from the other existing products.

Then they introduces flaw 4 which is ‘the product defines a new category and requires substantial consumer education but does not get it’. Febreze scentstories is an innovative product but it lead to confusion within consumers which resulted in its failure. This could be solved by better educational campaign which helps in developing better understanding/awareness of product. Then they put forward flaw 5 which is ‘product is revolutionary but there is no market for it’ this normally happen when company neglect basic question such as who will buy this and at what price.

In their conclusion, the writers point out some of these problems(faced in flaw 1 and 2) due to product quality and manufacturing problem can be solved by delaying the launch, these kind of problem occurs because of timing and delay might increase the probability of success. Flaw 3to 5 are more tricky as they directly relate to the products itself. For that company should have effective team work which integrate all departments or function which could involve in a product launch. However in order to avoid failure, it is better to consider opposing opinion than launching product which end up with disaster.

Evaluation and recommendation

In my opinion generally all of these flaws are common, and occur just because of lack of preparation. Thus this article is of great practical application, as these flaws are frequently faced by most multinational companies while launching their new products world wide. This article depicts reality and could be very beneficial for many relevant personnel within the organizations, who are dealing with such project.

Burkitt, L. and Bruno, K. (March 2010). “New, improved… and failed”, says Cincinnati research agency AcuPoll study Retrieved 10 November,2012, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36005036/ns/business-forbes_com/t/new-improved-failed/

Schneider, J. and Hall, J.(2011). “Why Most Product Launches Fail”. In Harvard Business Review 00178012 April 2011, Vol. 89, Issue 4

Cite this essay

Critical Review Why Most Product Launches Fail. (2016, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/critical-review-why-most-product-launches-fail-essay

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