Why your new product might not be selling

Posted in Sales techniques and processes.

Not all sales attempts can be called success stories. Sometimes there is a product that simply does not sell well or at all. What can the reasons be that your product is not accepted by your market?

Insufficient market research

This can refer to no market research being done before bringing out a product or simply analysing your market research incorrectly. You need to find out what your market is interested in, what their needs are and what exactly the features are that they want in a product. If you are producing a product that your market did not want in the first place, you will clearly not be successful because there is no need for it.

Alternately, if you do incorrect research, your product will also fail. If you limit your research to a very small segment of your market and then assume that this knowledge applies to your entire market, you will only appeal to that small segment and alienate the rest. Also be very specific about what the product has to include for it to be successful. Don’t merely research what product your market needs or wants but also what specific features the product must include.

Bad timing

Sometimes the product is right for the market but the market is not yet ready for the product. A good example would be the release of a product when a major recession hits. Obviously people will be less likely to buy a product when they are cutting back on costs. This is especially true when it is a new, untested product and there is no justification for incurring costs when one doesn’t know if its value will live up.

Also, did you check what your competitors were up to before you released your product? If not, you may have released a product at the same time that a similar product from your competitor came onto the market. Similar products can exist but when they are released too close to each other, the one released earliest may seem more innovative and the second release merely an imitation.


There is nothing worse than knocking consumer confidence through not living up to the hype. Sometimes marketing campaigns and salespeople oversell the product but once the consumer gets their hands on the product they are disappointed. Rather undersell and then surprise consumers with the product’s actual value. Often marketing campaigns can hurt a product’s selling potential before it has even launched.

Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken

If you have a loyal customer base, they are most likely in a comfort zone. If you have products that have been in your product line for years and many customers use the product because of the consistent features that it has, you have less room for changing the formula. This doesn’t mean you cannot bring out new products but try not to fiddle too much with existing products that are very beloved by customers. A good example would be Pepsi’s attempt at a product called “Crystal Pepsi” that was clear in colour – something that customers could not reconcile with their long-standing branding.

Choosing the wrong market

There may be many reasons why the market you chose is not correct. Maybe the market is shrinking and the need is going away. Perhaps the competitors that are already in the market are too strong to take on. What if you simply are not ready to enter the particular market because you lack the skills or the know-how?

The list we have provided is by no means the be-all and end-all but it may help to point you in the right direction. If your product is not selling as well as you may have expected, take some time to analyse the reasons behind this and then choose a different path. We hope this list was helpful in that exploration.