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Why New Products Fail

In April 2020, co-founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman set out to transform the way young people consume video contents on the go with their streaming service Quibi -short for Quick Bites-.

The streaming platform provided shows of 5-10 minutes episodes well formatted for smartphones and it was indeed gaining traction from big names in the Hollywood industry but ironically not from its expected users. Six months after its debut, the company was already firing talents, the beginning of what was eventually going to be their product’s end.

The final nail to the product’s casket was the farewell letter in which Katzenberg and Whitman said their pursuit of a “new category of entertainment” might have been misguided. They also blamed the pandemic which kept people at home in front of the TV. “Unfortunately, we will never know, but we suspect it’s been a combination of the two.”

From poor User Research to poor timing and terrible design, there are lots of factors that make users snub certain products. Below are some of those factors and how you can avoid them.

Failure to understand Users' Wants and Needs

Just as Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton Christensen once said “Selling more isn’t always about selling. You need to understand what customers want to get done.” Many times, products are developed and launched based on a few users’ responses and these responses are generalized to be the feeling of the entire target market.

Poor User research can lead to a lack of understanding of what the targeted users need or want. It can also result in your product being targeted at the wrong audience.

From poor User Research to poor timing and terrible design, there are lots of factors that make users snub certain products. Below are some of those factors and how you can avoid them.

Poor Execution

Have you ever seen or used applications or websites with unresponsive pages, terrible design, awful fonts, and unappealing colors? Well, chances are that you may never use that product again.

According to research by UX Cam, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience. The market success of any product depends heavily on its functionality, speed and performance, ease-of-use, visual aesthetics, clarity, simplicity, and usability, to name but a few.

Bad Pricing Strategy:

In November 2006, Google announced it was permanently shutting down Google Answers, a paid Question and Answer platform. Obviously, with the advent of free Q and A platforms like Quora, social media ad even Google Search, it would have only been pointless for a user to pay a certain amount of money to get his or her questions answered when he or she could get them for free on the alternative platforms.

Pricing is one of the four elements and the only revenue-generating element in the marketing mix. A terrible price strategy can knock you out of the competition especially if your product has a viable, free, or cheaper alternative with similar services.

Poor Promotional and Launching Measures:

It is usually not enough to develop a product that ticks all the boxes in terms of quality and usability. Getting the users to choose it and use it is another uphill task. The survival of your product and business is hinged on the promotional tactics you decide to use.

Some tactics that have proven useful for tech businesses in the past include Special introductory offers, customer reviews, Websites with search engine optimized contents, social media ads, email marketing letters, and ads on traditional media to mention but a few.

Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School postulates that each year more than 30,000 new consumer products are launched, and between 80 – 95% of them fail. No one deserves to put so much effort into a project that will result in futility.

You can avoid this by doing your due diligence during and after your product development and by staying informed and getting the latest tech industry news and insights through the informative articles on our blog. Do not forget to subscribe to the blog and share the contents as well.

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