A few tiny mistakes can totally botch your product launch. We want to give you the best chance at product development glory. So, we’re opening up our playbook to share a few lesson learned.

Ever heard of Colgate entrees? Yeah, Colgate, like the toothpaste. Probably not. This well-documented product flop occurred because most people didn’t think a toothpaste brand could make frozen foods that would tantalize the taste buds. The whole thing just left a bad taste in consumer mouths. After mediocre sales, the product disappeared.

So what can we learn from this? Plenty. Here are the 6 most common product development mistakes:

1.       No review process.

Those who don’t review and test often end up with embarrassing errors like these. Don’t let your product become cautionary tales. Put a rigorous review process in place.

 2.       Selling unapproved products.

Part of your review process should include assigning qualified people to sign off on products before launch. Nothing should go to market without their approval.

 3.       Selling products that don’t make sense.

Think Colgate entrees. Don’t make the mistake of trying to sell something that in no way aligns with your business.

 4.       Letting your sales staff call the shots.

Sales and product development are separate roles for a reason. Keep them separate. Things get weird when you let sales guys call the shots on product development. Solicit feedback from Sales, but don’t allow them to mandate the specs. Do what makes the most sense for your business (and customers).

 5.       Not having a product manager.

Without someone in place to keep everyone on the same page and manage to deadlines, you’ll find it challenging to scope, create, and deliver your product in any kind of standardized format.

 6.       Emotional attachment to products or vendors.

You’re in business to provide the best product you can, at a price the market can bear. Don’t let feelings about other products or vendors get in the way of that. You have to do what’s right for  your company and customers.

April Taylor

April Taylor

April’s career has been focused on software implementation, consulting, process improvement, and product management. She began her career at ConnectWise in January of 2006 as an Implementation Consultant. On a fast track, she became a...

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