Saturday, 23 February 2013

11 Reasons why products fail in the market

Not all the product ideas get transformed into actual products.  Only a few pass that stage and get to the market as a Product.  And there are even fewer products that are actually successful.  So what are the reasons why products fail in the market.  In this post I am outlining a few reasons in my practical experience which can lead to the failure of a product.


  • Not having a directed product vision
    • A product needs to have a vision, a roadmap at least at a high level.  Product roadmaps might change depending on the feedback from the customers / prospective customers / market research, but you need to have a product vision as you go along.

  • Not enough investments for the products
    • It is highly important that all the investments need to be made for the product development, testing, marketing, sales and brand promotion.  Without investments, the product will eventually die a slow death.

  • Too late into the market
    • A product needs to be in the market at the right time.  If the product is late into the market, there will be many competitors for the same market, and hence competition will be tough.  It is highly desirable for any product to have that First Mover advantage.

  • Too early in the market
    • In my previous point, I mentioned that a product needs to be in the market at the right time.  Even though being early in the market is a highly desirable option, however being too early in the market when there is no maturity in the market will obviously lower the chance of product success.

  • No real unique features
    • If there are no unique features that your product offers, customers will have no real interest in buying your product.  If you want your product to be highly successful, make it stand out in the market.

  • Lack of focus
    • If there is no focus on the product in terms of its development, marketing, brand building, etc then it is bound to have negative effect on the product's outcome.

  • Management expectations
    • If the management expects too much from the product and starts to create a brand for it, even before its launch or even before its mature, then it is surely going to disappoint the customers.

  • Not enough R&D investments
    • Many products needs a lot of R&D investments to be done in order to stay ahead of the market needs.  And to anticipate market needs.  But if the investments are not enough, then it is surely going to affect the product's market

  • Lack of adequate technical skills / Product Management skills
    • The product team which is building the product should be competent and highly agile as the Product evolves over time.  If the evolution time is long, then competitors will cash in.

  • Not enough value for money
    • As the great investor of all time Warren Buffet said "Price is what you pay and value is what you get".  So its a relative term.  Your product should be priced right and it should provide enough value for the money.  If the customer starts to feel that the price is higher than the actual value provided, then it will have a negative impact.

  • Buggy Product
    • Nothing can upset a customer than seeing a flawed product that doesn't work as expected.  News spread quickly, bad news spread even more quickly.  This can lead to disaster.
What do you think are the other reasons why products fail?  Please feel free to comment.  Thanks for reading.

Rajaraman Raghuraman has nearly 8 years of experience in the Information Technology industry focusing on Product Development, R&D, Test Data Management and Automation Testing.  He has architected a TDM product from scratch and currently leads the TDM Product Development team in Cognizant.  He is passionate about Agile Methodologies and is a huge fan of Agile Development and Agile Testing.  He blogs at Test Data Management Blog & Agile Blog.  Connect with him on Google+