Why Do Products Fail At Their Launch?

Written by Chloe Harwood

All over the world, hopeful entrepreneurs are making various tweaks to their “revolutionary” new products, and setting out plans for the massive success they’re going to enjoy later. While these business owners may have spirit, most of these product launches are going to be failures. This is a frustrating and unfortunately universal phenomenon; the worst nightmare of a lot of great marketers. Obviously, you don’t want your product to bomb, so here’s some of the biggest reasons why they fail at the launch.

One of the most common reasons for failure amongst smaller businesses is that they can’t accommodate for rapid growth. All entrepreneurs dream of massive success. Unfortunately though, a lot of them only plan for moderate success, and end up suffering for it. This is particularly tragic, as many of the products that bomb in this way have the potential to be huge. Time and time again, we see small operations bring a product to market in the States, and enjoy one short period of stable, manageable success. As demands go up, these companies often make rushed, reckless decisions, like outsourcing their production to poor, thrown-together manufacturers. Quality drops, customers become dissatisfied, and the product goes downhill faster than you can imagine. No matter how unlikely it is, always be prepared for rapid expansion!

Another, less common issue is when the product defines a totally new category, and falls short when it comes to consumer education. By and large, if your target market doesn’t understand your product as soon as they see an ad, it’s not going to go very far. Some of the biggest business success stories in history have been centered around a revolutionary new invention. However, these have also been the cornerstone of some massive failures, too. Some business owners take their quirky new product to the shelves, and stick to what they know with conventional marketing techniques. When you’ve got a new invention, it’s better to take a more educational approach to your ad campaigns. This kind of issue has given rise to various specialized marketing firms such as Davison Invention. Whatever course of action you take, it’s important to understand that new products call for a new approach to your marketing.

The final, and perhaps most damaging reason that a product fails, is that it falls short of the claims made by the company. It’s a bad thing to delay the big launch date, but it’s even worse to release a product before it’s actually ready. If there’s one case of this that stands out, then it’s the launch of Windows Vista in 2007. The media, and in turn the public, had huge expectations for this new operating system. Unfortunately, when it actually launched, the thing was wrought with compatibility and performance issues, causing even the most loyal Microsoft customers to turn away from them. Apple then went on to ridicule it with their famous “I’m a Mac” ads. If Microsoft hadn’t had such a history to lean on, it could have easily folded after this blunder!

About the author

Chloe Harwood