Problems of New Product Development in Consumer Goods Industry

Problems of New Product Development in Consumer Goods Industry

The quest for a satisfying solution to human needs and wants is as old as human existence on earth. Clouded around us are pools of human needs and wants ranging from physiological needs such as food, clothing, and shelter to social needs such as the need to belong to associate, to be accepted, and love, and friendship. The search for solutions was initially based on self-effort to the primitive state of man. But as our society advanced, more sophisticated means if solving or satisfying these needs were discovered. This has led to the creation/development of need satisfying products by business entities or companies whose existence and survival hang solely on the performance of these products whether tangible or intangible. Products like human life pass through phases or spans of life which Philip Kotler (1997) called product life cycles introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. In view of the fact that every product passes through these stages, more importantly the maturity and decline, stages the need for a continuous development or innovation of new products becomes indispensable for the continued growth, survival and profitability of the company or organization.

New product development has became a crucial aspect of a firms marketing management. These companies develop new products for the following reasons, to replace those products that have become out-dated in the eyes of the consumers to satisfy the changing needs of consumers/customers and still to contain competition without resorting to price competition. Reason enumerated by authorities for developing new products include, the need to sustain a high level of sale for the company. This could arise from the cyclical nature of consumer patronage of each product and the threat of obsolescence that hangs over most products and consumers increase sensitive and selection in their choice of products. Besides, most companies particularly large ones are eager to introduce new products into the market for image making purpose on the other hand, most companies may find that considerable resources which need to be put to fruitful and profitable uses are lying idle, thus the only rational behaviour open to the company is to develop new products.

Suffice it to say that many companies are increasingly beginning to appreciate the importance of new product development because of its implications for the continued survival, growth, profitability and the existence of company. Despite this, lots of new products developing and launched into the market could not sustain and satisfy consumers appetite. Estimate is to the proportion of new products, which succeed range is from 2to 20 percent. Various reasons have been added as to why many new products failed.  To encapsulate the reasons were adduced.  Although an idea may be good, the market size may have be overestimated.

Perhaps the actual product was not designed as well as it should have been. It may a “me too” product which is not better than products that are already established in the market place on may be it was incorrectly positioned in the market place, price too high, on advertised and promote, poorly. A high-level executive might push a favourite idea despite poor marketing research finding sometime the cost of product development are higher than budgeted and sometime competitors fight back harder than expected.

In order to provide empirical evident to justify or disapprove the above reasons, this study will critically investigate the factors militating, against the successful Development of new products in market.


The high failure rate of many new products is a clear testimony that product concept on product notion is circulated in terms of consumer behaviour and reaction towards that product.

Owing to the fact that it is not easy to carry out product development especially in a manufacturing company, it then requires expert handling to execute new product development.

There are some threats which militate and rose problems against the idea of product development, which could come in terms of the existence of competitive brands, insufficient capital, lack of qualified personnel, poor planning and inadequate forecasting.

A balance must be struck between these industry for a successful product development.


i.            This research work is aimed at finding out the appropriate processes involved in product development.

ii.         It is also aimed at highlighting the importance of product planning.

iii.       The research will also look into the necessary of new product development and as it relates to marketing.

iv.        Finally, the main aim of this research work is to identify the likely problems encountered in new product development as mentioned above and proffer possible solution to the problems associated with new product development.


i.            To what extent the existing competitive brands affect the success of new product development?

ii.         To what extent does insufficient finance militate against new product development?

iii.       How does lack qualified personnel on a manufacturing firm affect the quality of the product negatively?

iv.        How does inadequate forecasting affect new product development in a manufacturing industry?


This study will be of great benefit to the following:

Firstly P2 Company PLC will benefit immensely from this study. This is because it will uncovers some of the defects in the new product development processes, which will enable the Company to reposition its product among competitive brands in market.

Secondly, the study will be of great benefit to industries and the Nigerian economy. This Stems from the fact that new product development has been discovered to be the key factors that guarantees industrial and economic growth as Drucker (1997:67) apparently recognized it when he said a business enterprise has only two basic functions, marketing and innovation.

Thirdly, the study will be of immense benefit to customers of soft drunks as adequate measures that will be recommended, which will go a long way to boost the satisfaction and value delivery ability of pz company plc.

Above all, the study will not only be of benefit to the researcher but also the reader, as adequate knowledge and understanding will be gained from the information contained in the study.


This study only investigated the factors militating against product failure  by PZ Company PLC. This study is limited to Aba metropolis. It is important to note that were limitations imposed by constraining variables, which include.

a.          Finance: Finance was a major constraint that hampered the study. This was due to the fact that the researcher has no source of financial support, besides his parents and relatives. To this end the researchers demands of the study.

b.          Time: This is another very big or major constraining variable that limited the study. This was due to the fact that the study was carried out at the peak of lectures and other academic activities. Consequently, the researcher had difficulties in meeting up appointments with respondents.

c.           Uncooperative attitude of respondent: This was another constraint to the study. Most of the respondents more importantly employees of the case organization were not easily convinced to co-operate to release valuable data that could help me carry out the study.


The following terms used in the study should be taken to mean the following:

a.          Product: Product according to Umeh and Ude Umanta (2002:43) is “Any thing that can be offered to a market for acquisition or consumption. It includes any physical object (e.g cars), services (lecturing, entertainment), personalities, places organization and ideas:

b.          Innovation: According to IIe Norbert M. Innovation involves creative response to an investment opportunity by developing a new product, new technology, or the modification of existing one to serve a need better.

c.           Industry: Industry according to oxford dictionary (1996:451) is the whole firms dealing in the same kind of product.

d.          Marketing potential: According to Philip kotler (1993) market potential is the total number of potential customers that can be served within the

e.          Product life-cycle (P.L.C): According to Umeh and Ude-Umanta (2002:54), Product life cycle concept conforms to the sales in story of successful new product (3) After the period of Development the product experience rapid growth in sale during the growth stage.

f.            Utility: Utility by definition is the amount of satisfaction that can be derived from a product or services at a particular time. Also according to Umeh and Ude-umanta utility is the consumers’ estimate of the products over all capacity to satisfy.

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