Introduction For most companies, the introduction of successful new products is critical to the achievement of the short- and longterm corporate strategic goals of profitability, growth, and continuity. As an illustration, more than 25% of the current retail food sales in the US have been reported to consist of products introduced within the past 5 years (Hughes, 1994). Similarly, US marketing managers indicated that they expect 40% of the company profit made in 5 years’ time would come from products not currently on the market (Booz et al., 1982). Within the well-established product-market expansion matrix for growth (Ansoff, 1957), new product development (NPD) is identified as one of the important growth strategies of the firm. Despite the fact that successful NPD is crucial to profitability and growth ambitions, the actual success rates of new product introductions are fairly disappointing. Although there is a lack of reliable data on actual success and failure rates, reported failure rates are ranging anywhere between 40% (e.g., Barczak et al., 2009) and as high as 90% (e.g., Gourville, 2006). One reason for this lack of insight into actual success and failure rates stems from how success rates are being defined (Castellion and Markham, 2013). Success rates have been expressed as the percentage of commercialized new products that not only meet their marketing (e.g., market share and profit contribution) objectives, but also relative to the number of initial ideas that have entered the NPD selection process. Research on the 2003 the Product Development and Management Association best practices study (Barczak et al., 2009) suggests that approximately 15% of the new product ideas and approximately 60% of the new products actually introduced into the market place make it to a commercial success in the market. Whatever the exact metric and the exact percentage be, failure rates of new product introduction are an important concern to academics and practitioners alike, as new product introductions require substantial up-front investments that are not necessarily recouped from the new product’s financial returns. Bottom-line, NPD is an activity that is both necessary in light of market turbulence, but at the same time quite uncertain and risky in terms of potential failure. Not surprisingly, the NPD process has received a lot of attention in the marketing and management literatures (see Hart, 1996 for an overview)
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