Harbingers of Failure
Author(s)Anderson, Eric; Lin, Song; Simester, Duncan; Tucker, Catherine Elizabeth
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The authors identify customers, termed “Harbingers of failure,” who systematically purchase new products that flop. Their early adoption of a new product is a strong signal that a product will fail—the more they buy, the less likely the product will succeed. Firms can identify these customers through past purchases of either new products that failed or existing products that few other customers purchase. The authors discuss how these insights can be readily incorporated into the new product development process. The findings challenge the conventional wisdom that positive customer feedback is always a signal of future success.
DepartmentSloan School of Management
Journal of Marketing Research
Anderson, Eric,et al. “Harbingers of Failure.” Journal of Marketing Research 52, 5 (October 2015): 580–592. American Marketing Association
Author's final manuscript