It’s an all too familiar story. A significant new product is about to be introduced. It’s technologically innovative, it meets a clear market need and, best of all, it leapfrogs the competition.
During the final development stages, top management becomes increasingly convinced that this could be the make-or-break product that comes along once in a generation. The whole company is geared for the launch. Feedback from beta test sites is phenomenal; initial reviews on the specialist websites are little short of ecstatic. With all the customary hoopla and hyperbole, the product is introduced to the salesforce. There’s a highly motivational product boot camp. During the next few weeks, everyone holds their breath waiting for reaction from customers. Salespeople report great initial enthusiasm from the marketplace and, with a sigh of relief, management begins to wonder whether the early sales projections that seemed so ambitious before the launch should now be revised upwards.
Then a curious thing happens. Customer enthusiasm evaporates. The expected sales don’t materialise. Excuses give way to panic and the dark rumours begin. Maybe it isn’t such a fine product after all; marketing hasn’t positioned it properly or the salesforce is incompetent. There are plenty of candidates to take the blame but the fact is that nobody has a clue why a product with such great promise seems to be struggling for its life. What is going wrong?
The product itself often becomes the first target for retribution. But the fact is that some of the best products of our time have gone through exactly this rocky start.
Download the full whitepaper to find out Why bad things happen to good new products.