Why do products fail?

Why do products fail?

Amazon Fire, Windows Vista, Google plus, Samsung Note7, Facebook deals. Sometimes I wonder how such products backed by huge corporations where investments for R&D and market research run in billions fail so miserable at all?

It is quite evident that the decision to launch these products wouldn’t have happened in a jiffy; they release every product they think is the next billion dollar idea.

As I see it, when a project starts, nobody has any idea what to do. What we as designers have devised is a process to find out what might be a viable solution. A process which has worked over time; been tested and gained acceptance among the fraternity. We still have absolutely no idea if those ideas are right.

” We make educated decisions based on research. We believe in those decisions. Until the project launches. Then we believe in data.” – Mule Design

Large corporations vs Small firms:

Past decade has been witness to the fact that instead of corporations (that invest heavily in R&D with little or no significant successful products) it is increasingly small and mid-sized companies that have stolen the market share from large enterprises( albeit a very less percentage).

“Many firms mention mergers as their main strategic tool for growth and success, and point to possible economies of scale, synergies, and greater efficiency in managing assets. ” – HBR

Hence, large corporations are increasingly seen buying(acquiring) smaller innovative companies to regain this market share both in the tech and manufacturing sector.

So why do products/companies fail miserably?

Nine in 10 customers agree that brand innovation needs to impact society, according to a study by the PR agency Edelman. But, when have we seen a real innovative product that has huge social impact in recent times? ( check out some shark tank products such as lace face mask, uniquely printed boxers, socks etc)

Did all these products fail miserably because they never really fulfilled a customer need in the market?!  Or simply because the consumers were not delighted to use the product or the product itself didn’t live up to the hype it generated.

“Companies don’t focus enough on understanding how customers evaluate products and make purchase decisions.” – MIT Sloan Management Review

My personal experience of using Windows Vista(confusing, frustrating) and Goggle Glass(intimidating and not comfortable at all) were not very satisfactory.

The truth is that even loyal customers are increasingly not willing to pay for mere  product innovation unless there is better overall product experience worthy of a premium price while also helping them solve their problem.

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Also published on Medium.

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