Industry Insights

New Product Nightmare

I recently bought a new set of Bluetooth headphones. I like the set I have, but I needed a different set for when my first set is charging. My new ones cost less…such a deal! BUT now that I’ve used them for a few days, they’re just not as good. The sound is OK, but other little things are just not as good. There’s no way to tell how much battery charge they have, the on/off switch is not easy to use, the charge port is difficult to open…little things that some consumer insights could easily have fixed.

Have you ever tried a new product and wondered why the company couldn’t get it right…sometimes little things can make a big difference. A soft drink that doesn’t taste as you expect, packaging that doesn’t open easily, directions that don’t help, an appliance with controls that don’t work like you’d like…

As essential as new products are to a company, they are really hard to get right. Studies show that over 80% of new products fail. It’s about knowing consumers needs and reading trends before the competition can. After that, all you have to do is develop a great product!

So how are companies today using technology to know what consumer want first and then develop it??? Tea-leaves? Ouija boards? Séances? Some new products make you wonder!

Today’s new product development is often based on Big Data and Trend Analysis. Some examples:

Social Trend Analysis / Sentiment Analysis: Some companies look at Social Media to understand how consumers are reacting to current products in the market, what issues they have, and what they like. They can then run an analysis to understand what is missing from the marketplace.

Predictive Analysis: One step more than Trend Analysis, Predictive Analysis looks at trends over the past years and how consumer sentiment has changed. It then uses this to predict future trends allowing new product development to be one step ahead.

The Whole Tamale: OK, that’s not a technical name, but some companies combine significant amounts of internal and external data to understand trends and predict what new product opportunities. One company producing food used internal sales data, weather data, crop data, restaurant menu trends, health trends and demographic data to understand and predict trends.

Seem a bit much??? It’s not! If a company can improve it’s odds of new product success, all of that effort pays off!!!

Want to learn more about how data can assist in New Product Development? Reach out to me!!!  …and comment on this blog to share your new product nightmare examples!!!




The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.


Read my blogs on LinkedIn at or visit me at

OR visit me at



More stories

Build your own wonder

Wonder-ing out of the uncanny valley The “uncanny valley” is a phrase used to describe machines or systems that at the same time appear close to human, but elect a sense of revulsion rather than wonder.  Creepy is another word that gets used.  It is an old idea (first used by a Japanese roboticist working […]

Continue reading

More wonders

In my last post (“A time of wonders“) I finished on the idea that “machines like HAL or Her are referred to as super-intelligent or as strong artificial intelligence…and that most experts agree that we are probably 60 years away from being able to create systems like that, but there are many wonders available to […]

Continue reading

A time of wonders

Wonders indeed.  Last year a man’s life was saved in Missouri when his Tesla car drove him to hospital on autopilot. It seems that every day we read headlines like that one: you could call it a time of wonders, and all of them seem to be the result of artificial intelligence or AI. It […]

Continue reading