- Is the market real? Will consumers actually but it, and what will they buy it instead of, are there enough potential consumers to make the product viable?
- Does the product deliver superior value in some way to consumers that is visible to them, and capable of being communicated simply and clearly?
- Can the product be competitive in the market?, are the margins satisfactory? Can you afford the brand and channel expenditures? how will the existing category incumbents react, and what is your response?
- Can your business be competitive? Are the processes and infrastructure in place? Do you have the sales force capable of selling?
- What is the Risk/reward profile of the investment for you?
- Is the product and its service infrastructure aligned with your strategy?
Most new products fail, and most of these failures are almost predictable, particularly in fast moving consumer markets, where the adage that “you need to be prepared to fail often to succeed sometimes” is regularly taken to irresponsible lengths.
Following is a simple 6 point checklist, developed by trial and error over 35 years in FMCG. Failure on any one parameter should be a “whoa” sign to you.
Some effort in answering these questions should yield an increase in the success rate, they constitute a good hurdle in the NPD process before you go far past prototyping stages.