A Failure To Communicate

April 9, 2007
Better collaboration among trading partners improves chances for new product launch success.

What if you launched a new product and nobody cared? While this scenario is highly unlikely, few manufacturers are without their own horror stories about a new product launch that failed to generate the expected buzz in the marketplace.

The problem may be partly due to a lack of communication between two parties with much to gain in a successful introduction -- the manufacturer
and the retailer.

Not to despair: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and consulting firm Pricewaterhouse-Coopers say there are simple actions trading partners can take to improve their chances of launch success. They offer this four-step framework to improved

  1. Eliminate preconceived notions of each trading partner and establish a joint definition of launch success beyond sales/volume targets.
  2. Establish detailed milestones and success criteria, and assign specific responsibility and accountability for each element.
  3. Provide transparency to potential launch issues and develop contingency planning in advance for likely scenarios to avoid overreacting to expected events.
  4. Devote time to post-launch analysis to establish a common perception of the launch effectiveness.

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