If your product hasn’t achieved the success you’d hoped for; you’re not alone. According to the international management firm Booz Allen Hamilton, 66% of new products fail within two years, and Doblin Group reports that up to 96% of all innovations fail to recoup their investment capital cost.

But becoming one of these statistics isn’t inevitable. New product development failure is almost always related to common pitfalls and roadblocks that many companies haven’t had the experience to anticipate accurately. At Pivot International, we help companies detour around these obstacles to successfully commence new projects and get existing projects back on track. Regardless of what stage of development your product is currently in — concept, prototyping, design, engineering, manufacture, or distribution — we bring nearly 50 years of experience across over fourteen different industries to move your project forward.

So, what are some of the most common pitfalls and roadblocks that companies fail to foresee that can put their new product development project in danger? Let’s take a look.

obstacles to moving forward

Top Ten Reasons for New Product Development Failure

  • Little to no research on the product or the market has been conducted, or the product makes claims it cannot substantiate.
  • Too much of the budget was invested in product creation, leaving too little to launch, market, and sell it.
  • The product’s key differentiators and advantages have not been communicated in a way its target audience can understand.
  • The product defines a new category and customers lack sufficient context for understanding how it meets their needs.
  • Sales teams are not well educated about the product and lack confidence in it or investment in selling it.
  • The marketing campaign is unfocused, lackluster, or poorly executed.
  • The product is functionally sound but was not developed with UX (User Experience), making it unappealing to end-users.
  • The product was not developed with DFM (design for manufacture), making it too costly to scale effectively.
  • Supply chain challenges result in costly product launch delays or prevent first-to-market advantage in a fiercely competitive environment.
  • The product manufacturer lacks the agility and technology to adjust production in response to unpredictable demand.

Now that we’ve identified the top ten pitfalls and roadblocks that can lead to new product development failure. Let’s talk about how to avoid them:

Take Inventory

Take inventory of the obstacles above to determine if and how they apply to your challenges. Especially keep a keen eye out for one of the most fundamental reasons for failure: a product does not compellingly serve an identified customer need. (The name of the game here is research, research, research.)

Educate and Empower Your Sales People

It should go without saying that your sales teams need to be thoroughly educated about a product. It’s not enough for them to get specs and pricing sheets. They also — where it makes sense — need to interact directly with products to get a first-hand feel for them.

Encourage your sales teams to follow the action and focus on ‘What’s Next’ to identify and act on emerging opportunities. Help them conceive themselves as change agents for introducing products that stand to open up new product categories, advance the industry, and innovate new markets.

Perfect Your Marketing Mix

Optimize your marketing channels and platforms as customized for your target demographic. Identify the sequence and combination of touchpoints that advance various demographics down the sales funnel and lead to the highest conversion rates. Then, optimize the customer journey accordingly.

Reach Out to Experts

When all is said and done, experience counts. Many companies, especially startups, can’t be faulted for a less than smooth product development process, a bumpy product launch, or less than stellar product sales. (Even giants like Coke have launched products that turned out to be epic flops, so there’s certainly no shame in the struggle.)

Joining forces with a trusted partner with extensive experience in understanding the many different aspects of bringing a winning product to market can pay significant dividends.

At Pivot, we bring a wealth of specialization that can all but eliminate many of the top risks outlined early in this article. For example, our design and engineering teams leverage the latest UX best practices to help create products whose user-appeal is equal to their flawless performance. By making DFM an integral part of our product development process, you can rest assured that your product is optimized for supply chain considerations and can be cost-effectively scaled and brought to market without delay.

Our extensive investment in advanced digital technology and agile manufacturing means we can rapidly scale production to help your company capitalize on spikes in demand or protect your ROI when demand is down. Because we’ve continued to experience explosive growth and expand our locations and company-owned facilities worldwide, we’re able to meet your needs, wherever you may be.

Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you avoid pitfalls and overcome roadblocks to commence a new product development project or get existing projects successfully back on track.