Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Products Succeed

I don't believe in manufactured demand. I don't believe marketers are ever so good that they make a success of a product nobody wants. People have to want it at some level, or at least to think they do, to make a product a success.

I was recently arguing with someone on an email list about the likelihood of success of a new 3D camera. He pointed to several examples in the past of 3D cameras that were introduced, but never caught on. All I could point to was a period in the late 1940's and the 1950's when certain 3D cameras were extremely successful, selling hundreds of thousands of units. To my mind, selling hundreds of thousands of 3D cameras, even if only for a brief period lasting less than a decade, indicates that there are people who want to create 3D pictures.

When a product fails, there can be many reasons for that failure. It could be poor pricing. It could be poor manufacturing. Bad marketing, bad customer service, inappropriate sales channels, and dozens of other factors could account for a product's demise.

When a product succeeds, however, there's only one reason: it's right. If the product does meet a (real or perceived) demand, and the production/sales/delivery process doesn't get in the way, the product will succeed.

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