The long-run survival of most businesses is necessarily dependent on the development and successful introduction of new products. Yet, the introduction of new products is perhaps the most risky and costly business undertaking, given that the vast majority of new products fail.
This study firstly reviews the current literature on how to launch new products successfully and on the causes of new product failure. It then documents the analysis, research and strategic planning towards the launch of a new building product by a small Australian public company. Finally it compares what was done in this "living case", which was executed as closely as possible to generally acknowledged good marketing practice, with what the literature says should ha.ve been done.
The study concludes that, while the literature provides what appears to be a logical and methodical procedure for new product development its recommendations were not particularly applicable in this case. This inapplicability, which it is thought would occur quite frequently in other similarly situated companies, was due mainly to the size of the company (i.e. its relative smallness) and the nature of the product (i.e. the need to invest heavily in tooling in order to produce samples of sufficient quality before screening, testing and business analysis can be carried out objectively). On the other hand, the current literature examining the key factors in product success and failure would appear to provide a most useful and apparently practical check list for all companies Involved In new product development.