Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why

By Max Sutherland | Go to book overview

14 NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES: DON'T PULL THE
PLUG TOO EARLY

Why do so many new products fail?

Over nearly two decades in many parts of the world I tracked advertising in hundreds of product categories. In many of these categories it was possible to observe a range of new brands or products being launched. There is no single reason for the high rate of new product failure but there is one fairly common one. This has to do with the fact that the care and attention evident at the pre-launch stage is not carried through after the 'go' button is pushed.

Not enough companies closely and continuously monitor what is happening at the product launch and in the immediate post-launch period. The result is that many of the all-important fine tuning adjustments necessary to marketing success fail to be made. And the product crashes.

Most companies these days put a lot of money and careful attention into development of a new product. They do the same with the development of the advertising and the promotional program to back it up. They pre-test the advertising and the acceptance of the product concept and try to put everything in place for the launch to succeed.

But then a funny thing happens. The launch button is pushed. And in this crucial immediate post-launch stage, the tendency is to do little more than take a deep breath, pray that they have done everything right, and wait anxiously for the judgment of the market. Will the product be a success or a failure? If NASA launched space shuttles the way manufacturers launch new brands, there would be fewer astronauts!

The advertising resources necessary to fuel these new product launches is huge and new product launches, like space flight launches, need continuous monitoring and adjustment.

-175-

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