One of the most well-documented “failures” in the consumer business world is that of new product launches. Each new product launch brings with it a sense of hope and excitement somewhat akin to the birth of baby into a family. The amount of brain storming, testing, collaboration and preparation that goes into each product launch is staggering; yet, the large majority of these new product launches fail. Why?
Frankly, I have no way of knowing for sure other than surety that failure stems from a large number of sources. At Pretzel Pete we have certainly had our fair share of new product failures. We have had great products with packaging that didn’t engage. We have had great packaging but with poorly executed product. We have even had great products with what I thought was great packaging fail. Before I beat myself up too much about these failures, I must remind myself that our failure rate is about the same as those huge multinational companies. These are the same outfits that are expending gobs and gobs of manpower and financial resources at every new product launch. So, maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad. This is obviously tough.
From my perspective, the number one consistent reason why most new products fall flat is the failure of the “parents” of the new product to learn from past mistakes. Time and again I watch some very large companies debut new products that I can immediately associate with a previous disaster that someone else (or even their own company!) experienced in the past. Whatever the lessons that should have been learned, they seem to be oft-forgotten and the disaster doomed to be repeated.
We are closing in our next new product launch. As always, we are chomping at the bit to show off our newest toy and are dead-set certain that “this time” we have it all figured out. Will these new products succeed? I certainly hope so but I must realistically accept that failure is a possibility. At the very least, however, I can sleep soundly that the lessons learned from our past experience have been applied to all decisions surrounding the development of these new products.
Stay tuned…..more information on our new products will be coming soon!