Why we fail: I have been pondering for a while on some of the setbacks we face every day at work situation – product which we recently launched, project we were working or even business which we are running somehow perform below expectation level and sometimes bring huge disappointment to self and to organisation.
Do you remember AltaVista or Netscape search engine? Today we see Yahoo struggling. Tata Nano which was at one point of time had global hype and traction from consumer could not do well. Ambassador and Fiat could not withstand in changed times. Do you remember Amitabh Bachchan’s ABCL? GroupOn losing its heat. Snap Deals (Indian version of GroupOn) already diverting from current deal business. Nokia could not sustain the leadership. Rumours are already on that Google and Facebook may not survive in next 5 year.
There are plenty of examples which come to my mind on product or services which failed to live up to expectations. Here are the few points to ponder for all in such situation:
1. Not appealing enough: This is the classic situation of being fascinated with your own product offering. We strongly believe that our product offering is good enough but our consumer (buyer) feel otherwise. They see our product or service utility very differently and our product offering doesn’t appeal them. In such case our buyer or client will not take the important purchase decision in our favour. Or even with changed time we fail to innovate our product offering. Or customer doesn’t find future relevance with our product offering.
2. Not so useful: Product or service is good but usefulness of it for buyer, is limited. In such case its important that we relook how we are positioning our product or explain clear advantage of our product offering to our buyer, which may be relevant for him/ her. We can make product relevant by adding extensions (customisation) and exceptions in our offer.
3. Value for Money: Sometimes we price product high and are not willing to compromise in our margins. Our customers like the product but they don’t find it worth the price asked and hence remain in switch off mode. Other case could be we under-price our product or lack the premium(ness) on product offering, which may again work against us.
4. Timing is wrong: Timing of introducing products in market is critical. Failure due to untimely launch of product usually happens with new or innovative or first to market product or you are too late to lauch a product in established category. When market is not prepared enough for the product offering, launching of product or service won’t find the right traction from buyer or vice-versa.
5. Insufficient efforts: This can be nightmare for any company especially when a good product/ service get rejected due to poor delivery or service channel. At times sales team find hard to scout for customers or fails in explaining product/ service USP to customers. Or product is sold but after sales service of customer is mishandled.
6. Poor Quality: Poor quality or faliure in product promised work as blockage. Also as popular saying is – One dissatisfy customer tells negative to 100 people. So maintaining quality is very important to keep delivering on product promise.
7. No competition: This might be good for the companies which operate in niche market and with practically no competition. Standing taller in the crowd is always difficult, similarly to make business successful as a singular player is a tough task. Competition allows exploring the potential and creating more opportunities for players.