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Launching a new product or service? 5 reasons why new launches fail

Figures don’t lie: 70 – 90% of new product launches fail… Why is launching new products/services such a challenge for companies? It does not seem to be due to a lack of time or resources, because innovations take 21.5 months on average to reach the market. Many companies struggle with innovation and product launch: only 6% of directors are satisfied with their innovation performance. What do they think is the biggest obstacle? “The lack of execution power.”

So, companies are not very good at turning ideas into successful products. While this is often necessary to maintain or grow your current market position. In a world with increasing data & technological capabilities, customers simply expect more and more from companies. The future belongs to those who meet those expectations and (continue to) offer added value.

How? By innovating. And preventing your product launch from failing due to any of these common reasons:

1. Bad product market fit. A bad product-market fit occurs when solutions are technology-driven rather than based on clear market and customer insights. This can result in products that fail to meet the needs of the target market, leading to poor sales and customer engagement.

2. Lack of operational readiness. Lack of operational readiness to scale is another common reason for product launch failures. Many organizations fail to anticipate the resources and infrastructure needed to support a successful launch and are unable to meet the demands of the market once the product is released.

3. Insufficient coordination. Insufficient coordination with other stakeholders, such as sales, marketing, and product development, can also contribute to launch failures. Without collaboration and communication, products and services may not meet the needs of the target market, resulting in poor sales and customer engagement.

4. Slow down the growth focus in an too early stage. In the early stages of a product launch, it is important to maintain a focus on growth. The process from product to launch to growth can be complex and require a long-term commitment to achieve success. Without a clear plan for growth, many organisations fail to achieve the desired results.

5. Wrong KPI’s. Finally, the behaviour of senior management can also play a role in product launch failures. At many corporate organisations, it is common to measure new launches in a traditional way, focusing too much on costs and ROI too early.

How to increase the chances of success?

In conclusion, launching a new proposition or product is a challenging task for any organisation, with high failure rates and a significant amount of time and resources invested.

How to increase the chances of success? By creating an innovative environment. An environment that meets all the prerequisites for “safe” failure. Look for a true product-market fit by having a clear understanding of the target market. Be operationally ready to scale and make sure your stakeholders are engaged and have clear expectations. Focus on the long term and have a clear plan to navigate the process from product to launch and growth. With the right approach, organisations can increase their chances of success and achieve the desired results.