Flops analysis: a useful tool for future innovations
After a thorough diagnostic analysis of a recent flop, including the verification of its possible causes and eventual repair of the product as described earlier (see part 1 of this paper in a previous issue), attention is given to the formulation of a new communal protocol for the formation of product development teams and steps to be taken to avoid future flops and to create successful new products. The method includes instruction of the team in new approaches and tests to achieve better predictive power and testing these procedures on the development of a new product. This protocol may also be used to (re-)evaluate the possibilities of “misses”, i.e. products created, but never launched, because they were either never tested or tested with inadequate methods.
DEVELOPMENT OF A PROTOCOL FOR THE REDUCTION OF FUTURE FLOP RISKS
A team with common knowledge
In this phase it is important to build team spirit and to obtain consensus on the measures to be taken to avoid the most frequent sources of flops. This involves group discussion, instruction and experience with new methods by all members of the group. First information is needed about the most common mistakes.
Flops may have very different causes. The most frequent causes (in arbitrary order) encountered by the present authors are summarised here:
- Bad concept (e.g. too childish, too pretentious)
- Targeting the wrong population (e.g. 12-18 years, not taking the hormonal change due to oncoming puberty into account)
- Inept product communication (TV spots that leave no reminiscence of the product)
- Bad introduction moment (butter-like margarine during X-mass week when real butter was sold at reduced price)
- Pricing (too high or too low)
- Incongruence with the ... ...