Product Launch Failure: What Is It and How to Avoid It

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A product launch is the final result of companies or individuals’ efforts to launch their products to the market. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new product creation or an update to an existing product.

Product launch failure happens when a product launches but fails to compete with others or doesn’t achieve a stable position in the market. For example, not meeting the intended objective or not reaching the estimated sales required to keep the product alive.

It happens for many reasons, including the product itself or other factors like improper pricing, timing, bad planning, weak team coordination, and lack of market analysis. The reasons are many, and sometimes it’s obviously predicted. 

Main reasons for your product failure

As discussed above, new product failure isn’t a coincidence but a result of insufficient planning and preparations. 

No proper market research was done

Not every market research is reliable. One of the biggest issues companies face when launching their products; they count on improper market research that misleads them and causes a product launch failure. There is some main characteristic of wrong market research, and we can summarize them in the following points:

  1. It has no specific time scope. 
  2. It doesn’t include all the targeted audience segments․
  3. Not hiring a professional third party to conduct market research.
  4. Tracking data and analyzing results is vital in market research․

Idea validation was ignored

Validating ideas is all about questioning their acceptability; It’s a process companies adopt to test how beneficial a product or a service would be if released. It helps address failure reasons, reduce the loss, and de-risk the process of launching products.

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The correct audience was not determined

When you think about launching a successful product, the first step is not to Google “what are the marketing reasons for new product failures.” It’s to determine your correct audience; the people you target with your product. Otherwise, there is no common sense in wasting time and money working on something without preknowledge about beneficiaries.

Targeting the wrong audience might take away your chances of success. You strive and end up with a product launch failure for a reason you could have handled earlier just by spending more time analyzing who your target audience is.

Not having a proper product launch plan

A product launch plan lays out the steps you’ll take to get customers using your new product or service. It has all the steps from the beginning till the product launch date to help identify goals, set approaches, and assign duties to various team members. 

People spend lots of time and money planning the development of their products, but they rush things as soon as they reach the launch phase. Launching a product without a proper plan is like sailing with a broken compass. Will you reach your destination? Maybe you will, but what are the chances? The bottom line is, not having a proper launch plan is one of the main reasons products fail in the market. 

Poorly chosen product launch timing

Choosing the wrong timing could result in a product launch failure even if all other factors were addressed carefully. The right timing can be split up into two different aspects:

  1. The right timing for the company: when people launch their products before or after they are supposed to, they’re jeopardizing everything they worked on․
  2. The right timing for the target audience: not considering how the audience would react to the product launch based on timing is one reason for new product failure in the market. 
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Choosing the correct timing could turn into a success factor pushing the product launch beyond expectations.

Lack of proper financing

Many companies launch their products with a lack of financial planning, leaving them in the worst situation ever after their products reach the markets. It might cause everything to break down even if it was supposed to achieve massive success. 

Imagine launching a product, and after six months, you run out of capital required for the payroll or have a funding shortage in the middle of a successful marketing campaign. It will kill all the efforts and hard work in a glimpse of an eye. 

How to avoid product launch failure?

Despite all the negativity about a new product failure, we don’t want that to turn off your enthusiasm. We want you to be careful enough and do your homework before launching a new product to increase your chances of success. 

Have a beforehand drawn go-to-market strategy. Avoiding failure is on the top of everyone’s list, and one way to do that is a go-to-market strategy. It’s an action plan every company must prepare before launching their product. It includes all the steps and activities intended to reach the target audience, compete with others, and achieve a stable market existence. Usually, a GTM helps companies position themselves correctly in the market against competitors. 


Spending time in preparation is by far better than facing a product launch failure. Luckily, today’s technology enables testing the probability of a product’s success against real consumers. Use all the tools you can to improve your chances of success, and count on marketing science for your product launch. Leave no space for emotions and personal feelings. After all, coming up prepared is better than leaving things to a lucky charm you got from a gypsy in Southern California when you were 16 years old.

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