According to McKinsey, 75% of new products fail in their first year. here’s a few thoughts from our consultants on how to avoid the pitfalls:
No clear brief. NPD for NPD’s sake without clearly defining the objectives is a waste of everyone’s time. It’s vital to set a clear plan at the outset, the objectives should include learnings from the previous development. So, planning for next Christmas must start with the take outs from last Christmas.
Losing sight of your end user. This can be easy to do when there are developers, designers, marketers and agencies to please. It is vital to always focus on a clear idea of your core customer and the problem you are helping them solve. Cosmopolitan is a strong global brand with magazines distributed in more than 100 countries but in 1999 they made a rather bizarre decision to brand and sell yogurt. Needless to say, the yoghurt buying public preferred to buy yoghurt from yoghurt companies and Cosmo’s offering was off the shelves in 18 months. If only they’d had the foresight to carry out consumer testing before branching out!
Poor communication. A disconnect between the innovation or management team and the team who will execute the idea is to blame for many a product failure. A joined up approach company wide is vital to avoid new products getting the okay from the top when they are in fact totally unrealistic or non-profitable for a site to manufacture at scale.
Neglecting the importance of branding. Product teams can be so focused on the product itself that they fail to think about the packaging until it’s too late, forgetting that it is the brand identity and packaging that the customer will interact with first. Kraft Foods is one of the biggest and most iconic food and drinks companies in the world, yet that didn’t stop them revealing an undistinguishable logo in 2009. The rebrand was so bad that – just six months later – they reverted back to their original recognisable design. Find out how VYPR can help you with this.
Failure to carry out market research. It’s easy to get caught up in the product development process and neglect to find out whether there is a customer base for it – aka a quick route to failure! Customer discovery and validation are vitally important parts of product development. Conducting market research will provide you with the data and insights to inform your future decisions and help you avoid significant setbacks. Find out how VYPR can help you with this.
Failure to conform to regulatory requirements. After the blood, sweat and tears that go into creating a product, the discovery that it fails to meet the regulatory review dictated by the agencies governing your industry is crushing. Time and money is wasted with every redesign and retest, so save yourself the worry by ensuring your product meets every necessary regulatory requirement as early as possible in the design stage. There are lots of services to support you in this area; companies like Ashbury Labelling are specialists at taking on this responsibility on behalf of food manufacturers.
Giving up. Making mistakes is a part of business and of life and really shouldn’t be something we fear as failure can be a direct path to success. The important thing is to get right back up and get back to work after you fail. Dyson is one of the top-selling vacuums of all time, but it didn’t always look like it would be that way. Founder James Dyson tested 5,271 prototypes before he finally created a vacuum that worked – proving that tenacity and persistence pay off!
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