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Why Does a Product Launch Fail?

A product launch isn’t just a date on the calendar. The launch of a product encompasses an investment to build the right product for the market, a winning launch strategy, cross-functional coordination, preparing your organization and market, and relentless execution of your launch plan.

Product launch failures are diagnosed by examining the five points of a launch failure. They aren't obvious. One thing, for sure, can be said. A product launch is the point in time when they come to the surface.

Five Points of Launch Failure

Product launch failures are diagnosed by examining the five points of launch failure:

  • Product

  • Planning

  • Coordination

  • Readiness

  • Execution

A failure in any one of those areas can result in a failed product launch.


The main ingredient of a product launch is the product. A product that doesn’t address a need in the market will fail. No amount of marketing genius or sales persistence can fix it.

Symptoms of product failures include solving problems that don’t need solving, a product that’s difficult to implement, a product of poor quality, or a product that’s poorly designed.

Does your product solve a problem your potential customers care deeply about?


Planning failures are often due to a lack of market knowledge.

Symptoms of planning failures including the lack of an ideal customer profile, targeting the wrong market segments, blindlness to the competitive landscape, and bad product positioning.

The lack of market knowledge results in guessing. Guessing results in a weak launch strategy.

Planning failures can occur due to the lack of a structured launch process or the absence of launch objectives.

Do you have the market knowledge to develop a winning launch strategy? Do you have a clear definition of launch success?


A great product and a great launch strategy can be undermined by a lack of launch team coordination. A product launch is one of the most cross-functional activities in an organization. The lack of coordination among functional areas can be fatal.

Symptoms of coordination failures include lack of a collaboration platform, the use of more than one collaboration platform, infrequent communication, and launch team responsibilities that are not clear.

Do you have the systems and a launch process in place to foster team coordination?


Your organization must be prepared to market, sell, deliver, implement, support, and recognize revenue.

A lack of organizational readiness causes launch chaos and breeds distrust.

Your market needs preparation too. You want the market to be excited with anticipation of your product launch.

Are you preparing your organization for a remarkable product launch? Are you overlooking readiness needs which could lead to a launch failure?


A killer product, a great launch strategy, amazing coordination, and thoughtful readiness plans can all be wasted by poor execution. It’s one thing to know what to do and enshrine it in a plan. It’s a completely different thing to ensure the plan is followed.

Who is responsible for monitoring compliance to your launch plan? What metrics are used to monitor product launch performance?

Conduct a Launch Assessment

A product launch assessment examines the five points of product launch failure. A plan to improve future product launches is implemented once the points of launch failure are identified.

Examine a recent product launch along the five points of launch failure. Does any particular point of failure come to the surface?

Sometimes points of launch failure aren’t obvious because you’re so close to it. BrainKraft offers a launch audit service that quickly identifies areas of launch failure and proposes practical remedies.


Dave Daniels is the founder of BrainKraft and the creator of the BrainKraft Product Launch Framework and the BrainKraft Product Launch Master Class, the best way to launch a product.

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