Why do some products fail?
In spite of the efforts made by the marketer, some products fail. Product failure can be attributed to any one or more of the following causes:
1. Poor product quality: Obviously, a product, which is of poor quality, cannot be sold in the market.
2. Higher price: Another reason for the failure of certain products is the price factor. Higher production and distribution costs may lead to higher price. Such a product cannot be sold in a market consisting of middle and lower income buyers.
3. Poor timing: It is important that a product, to be successful, is introduced in the market at the correct time. If it is introduced at an unsuitable time it may turn out to be a failure.
Example: Publishers of textbooks usually bring out books in the beginning of the academic year.
4. Inherent defect: There may be an inherent defect in the product, which may affect its market potentialities. Such a product may not be preferred by the buyers even if the defect is rectified later.
5. Extent of competition: A monopolist may not have any difficulty in marketing his product. In the case of a market where there are a large number of sellers for a particular product, the buyer will have many alternatives. Therefore, in such a condition unless the marketer brings out the product to the satisfaction of the buyers, he cannot be successful.
6. Lack of promotional measures: Popularizing the brand, particularly, in the introduction stage of a product is essential. Such a step will ensure repeated buying and bring long-term benefits for the marketer. Failure to do so will ‘prove to be disastrous for the product.
7. Faulty distribution policy: It is important that a product reaches the right market at the right time and at the right price. The faulty distribution policy of the marketer may lead to many problems, i.e., the goods may not be available when required, may lead to higher price and so on.
8. Unavailability of spare parts: In the case of durable goods like televisions sets, Air-conditioners, etc., and also in the case of two wheeler and cars, easy availability of spare parts is an important requirement. Unavailability of spares may frustrate the buyers. Such buyers would not recommend the product to their friends and relatives.
9. Poor after-sale service: The quality of after sale service is yet another important cause. Most marketers, particularly those marketing durables, two-wheeler, etc., are courteous while making sale. When the customer requires service later and approaches the seller, the latter may show indifference.
10. Imitation products: Last, but not the least, the presence of a number of imitation products in the market makes the genuine products vulnerable. An average buyer may not be able to distinguish between the genuine product and the fake one.
Measures to prevent product failures
1. The marketer shall ensure that the product he markets is in demand.
2. He can determine the price at which the retailers must sell the product to the buyers. This will prevent manipulation of the price.
3. Before launching the product, steps must be taker to ensure that there are no inherent defects.
4. All efforts must be made to popularize the brand name particularly in the introduction stage.
5. The marketer shall select the right distribution network so that there is no delay in the consumer getting the product.
6. It is also important to make available genuine spare parts in the market at fair prices.
7. The quality of after-sale service must conform to high standards.
8. In the case of consumer and industrial goods, it is beneficial to get the quality certified by the Indian standards Institution (ISI) and/or by the International Standards Organization (ISO).
9. The product may constantly be updated to incorporate all the features that the buyers expect in it. Taking the case of Maruti Udayog, the company has updated all its models over a period of time, which is probably one of the main reasons for its success.
10. Steps must be taken to eliminate duplicate goods in the market. This may be done by cautioning the buyers on spurious goods. The problem may also be legally approached.