Products Bashed by Consumers Lead to Failure

The second of 5 common flaws which lead to product failure, as identified by the Harvard Business Review, and how to combat it using marketing research.

This post is the second in a series on the 5 Common Flaws that Lead to Product Failure. To access the whole message, make sure to read part one and part two!


According to the Harvard Business Review, only 3% of products meet the $50 million benchmark representing a highly successful product. The review cites five common flaws of product introductions that may attribute to their failure.

The second flaw identified is “The product falls short of claims and gets bashed.”

When the market value of a product is greater than its perceived value (and utility) to consumers, the product is on a path to failure unless corrective action is taken. Since it has not delivered on its claims, the customer didn’t get what they paid for. These issues can arise as a result of missteps in the product production phase, and can be devastating for brand image and credibility. 


Misstep 1:

The Problem: Insufficient pre-launch timeline for research, testing, and development

Solution: Claims testing, product positioning, and messaging.

This process is referred to as Primary Value Determination (PVD).

  1. Initial stage: Identify product’s core components and claims.

  2. Study design: Assess core components conceptually and physically.

  3. Data collection: Identify and survey representative sample of target market.

  4. Analysis: Claims are evaluated and sorted into categories that resonate with the consumer.

  5. Actionable results: Recommend strategies for market success.


Misstep 2

The Problem: Expanding too quickly

The Solution: Price and Adoption Modeling

Another not as obvious problem involves market expansion. Companies that experienced initial success and overwhelming demand for their products want to expand quickly. However, if they do so too quickly, they risk cutting product quality and ultimately causing lasting damage to the brand.

Think Hoverboard…it’s so hot that it catches fire. Literally.

Products suffer when they are rushed to market, it makes little difference most times whether the rush occurs in manufacturing or in marketing. Regardless of whether a product is revolutionary or a competitor, all should be properly tested to ensure that it has the best chance for success. In the case of Hoverboards, a few bad apples spoiled an entire market opportunity.


The goal of market research is to make sure that the product has the absolute best shot at success. In this process, we are testing what we think we know, our hypotheses, about how our product solves our customer’s problems or assists them to do something better, and how the product fits into their lives among other solutions to the same and different problems.

Done correctly, this process will uncover consumer behaviors and patterns and provide insight into consumer motivations for purchase that are critical to know before planning for any product launch.

Marketing research results focus the marketing strategy. These data and their analyzed conclusions are invaluable in determining which claims and messages will resonate with consumers.

This blog post is the third in a six-part series on the 5 Common Flaws that Lead to Product Failure. If you're interested in learning more about these flaws and specific market research methods that can be used to combat them, you can subscribe to our bog to receive a notification when the next piece of the series is published. 

Download the FREE Ebook Today