What’s so scary about new product development?

During my many years in FMCG companies, I have been both passionate about and intrigued by the process of bringing new products to market. As a process it can be both the most stimulating and engaging part of a person’s work or the most frustrating of turn offs.

Why is this? Is it corporate governance or historic hurdle rate theories? Is it product life cycles or brand guidelines that just make things slow? Is it a company’s cultural mindset or the mindset of individuals? Do employees see it as too hard? Do we reward those that tackle, embrace and deliver new things? Are leaders afraid of failure?

Interesting questions at a time when new products are on the tip of everyone’s tongue. My take – there are no doubt times when introducing new things under a brand is risky and not logical ie, everything is working to plan. In most cases however, trying new things will benefit a brand in some way. Incremental sales, a rise in brand awareness, ensuring that a brand represents openness and is not stagnating. Even just the simple idea of learning and growing from ideas that don’t go according to plan. Isn’t this worth the risk? I have seen so many times where risk is exaggerated and a project is stopped before the idea has even had a chance to succeed, resulting in some of the best products not even making the shelf.

In the modern world doing nothing is no doubt riskier than trying something and failing……..


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