When a product fails, should you improve it or kill it? Senior managers are best placed to make the right choice – quickly.
Killing products isn’t easy. Your engineers and managers work for months, often years, to develop and launch new products. They invest significant resources in research, marketing and distribution. So to see those products go down in flames (literally, in the case of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7) creates a difficult choice: do you try to improve the quality and support for products – or terminate them?
Writing in Harvard Business Review, John Joseph and Ronald Klingebiel say most firms pull products when they’re obvious disasters, such as the Note 7. What proves trickier is to pull lacklustre offerings with sales that mildly disappoint. In these cases managers often hang on in the hope of an eventual uptake – resulting in a confusing proliferation of mediocre offerings. Here’s how to avoid this scenario: