Do 9 out of 10 new product launches fail ?

You’ve heard this line ? Or maybe something more conservative, say 7 out of ten ?

It sounds awful, but gives solace to marketers who have an under-performing new brand. It’s used by consultants to stress the importance of marketing (and the advice or services they are selling).

But is this claim supported by empirical evidence – it seems not. More than half of real-world (i.e. not test) launches succeed. As Cooper in 1996 wrote“sources citing the failure rate at launch to be as high as 90% tend to be unsubstantiated and are likely wildly overstated”.

The full article can be downloaded from this journal, here is the abstract:

“Managers’ Knowledge of Marketing Principles: The Case of New Product Development”, Steven Cierpicki, Malcolm Wright, and Byron Sharp , Journal of Empirical Generalisations in Marketing Science, 2000, Vol. 5, p.771-790.

Abstract: Do marketing managers have well-established marketing principles to guide decision making? We addressed this question by examining 15 principles of new product development obtained from an expert panel of Australian senior marketing practitioners. Of these 15, three turned out to be tautologies, six had at least some empirical support, and six were partly or fully contradicted by empirical studies. In examining the literature for evidence, we were also able to identify five wellestablished ‘empirical generalisations’ about new product development. These results indicate that while principles of new product development do exist, there are fewer of them than we might have thought, and practitioners appear unable to distinguish between good and bad principles.

www.MarketingScience.info

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