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How to Avoid A Failing Product

by Russell Sammut Bonnici and Stefania Farrugia
27th March 2018

Putting the “Mark” in Marketing

Marketing is how a company can auction off their products, services and how they can invest in other merchandise. An important principle in marketing is product design where the company relates the product to the buyer’s needs and wants, this makes the product relevant. After making a relevant product, marketing activities which would capture a consumer’s eye entail advertising, blogging, giveaways, freebies and special offers.  

Advantages and Disadvantages of Marketing

Marketing is useful when it comes to selling an idea, but like most things it has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Marketing
  1. Promotion of the Business: People are aware of the company and its products and services
  2. Advertising: Television and radio are two types of good stations which can promote the business and appeal to the audience
  3. Cost Savings: The result in these marketing efforts of the company will help them not lose any extra capital

Disadvantages of Marketing
  1. Cost: One needs to do their research beforehand in order to avoid being overly ambitious.
  2. Investment of Time: The marketing campaign will need to be ongoing and consistent.
  3. Competition: The product and advertising must stand out more than other businesses which are trying to get people’s attention.

What is Market Research?

Market research is an important principle when it comes to deciding on what your product should be. In market research you look up already existing products as well as what the target audience is looking for. From this you can establish what is known as a niche in the industry. A niche is a gap in the market, that when targeted could be used to attract more clients.

When the niche isn’t targeted, the product can fail at attracting clients. Failed products such as the Nintendo Virtual Boy and Samsung Galaxy Note 7 are examples of this. In both no profit was made and actual harm was caused to the target audience. No entrepreneur wants that! The 5 Step Marketing Research Process can be used to avoid this.

The 5 Step Marketing Research Process

  • Step 1 - Define The Problem: The product cannot be actually produced without first determining the issue on what the problem actually is.
  • Step 2 - Develop Your Research Plan: Collection of relevant data and information. Popular research methods are customer interviews, analytics, surveys, and online research.
  • Step 3 - Collect Relevant Data and Information: Researched and incoming data is not biased. In order for this to be avoid various collection methods can be used such as quantitative and qualitative data on the problem concerned.
  • Step 4 - Analyse Data and Report Findings: From the interpreted data, you can polish your definition of the problem, allowing you to establish a better product idea.
  • Step 5 - Take Action: The start of prototyping your product, testing it and coming up with marketing campaigns for the product

The Nintendo Virtual Boy

  1. Marketing
  2. The first oversight that Nintendo did was selling out this device as a “portable console”. In reality, “the Virtual Boy was more toy than console”. The console was found to be very bulky and big to be expressed as portable.
  3. Health Risks
  4. The Virtual Boy advised the gamers that some problems such as headaches, seizures and eye problems might be presented if played on for too long.
  5. Graphics
  6. The graphics appeared in monochrome and the only visible colours were red and black.

In the end, this was Nintendo’s biggest failure up to that time. The lesson to be taken:
“Lack of technological resources + zero ambition = the Nintendo Virtual Boy. Rest In Peace”

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7

  1. Battery
  2. The battery was made too small to fit in the back of the phone, which “causing negative electrodes to be bent and increase the likelihood of short circuiting”
  3. Company Casualty
  4. This misfortune caused Samsung billions of dollars and “for some critics in South Korea, even called into question the very business model that has made Samsung so successful.”
  5. Limits Pushed
  6. Samsung pushed itself to the extreme. The Note 7 was driven to the market before any other competitors such as Apple. New features were introduced, like waterproofing and iris-scanning for added security, “Samsung wanted to prove that it was more than a fast follower”.

In Conclusion,

In conclusion, one shouldn’t make any rash or quick unreasonable decisions just to be the first amongst other people. It’s easy to get carried away and reinforce a half-baked idea, but the most crucial part in success is to analyze your ideas critically.
It’s important to research the industry you want to add value to come up with a business idea that would actually work.
Now get out there and start hunting for your million dollar idea! Happy thinking!


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