The value of failures in the world of SMB - NIQ

The value of failures in the world of SMB


The value of failures in the world of SMB

Failure is part of success—we have countless clever ways of saying “if you don’t fail, you’re playing it too safe.” This is especially true as our fast-paced world accelerates disruptive changes to consumers and markets. Not all decisions result in desired outcomes, but the right attitude towards failure can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make confident decisions that lead to growth. 

The value in failure  

Many great inventors and entrepreneurs view failures as byproducts on the road to success— Thomas Edison failed countless times before succeeding with the light bulb and Richard Dyson built as many failed prototypes before achieving his goal.  

Today, many successful entrepreneurs have fostered environments where they accept them as part of growth. With the right lens and tools, mistakes and failures can be reframed as learning opportunities that become integral to iterative development.  

The key to turning a failure into success: analyzing and learning from it. This is especially true in the fast-paced FMCG world, where data shows that over 80% of product launches fail and growth strategies can fall flat.

Turning failure into future growth  

Growth strategies can be well thought out or created with a “less thinking, more doing” mindset where companies take controlled risks and don’t aspire to perfection. In both cases, analyzing and identifying what did not go as planned is crucial for improving the next iteration of a growth strategy.  

Here are a few common reasons growth strategies fail: 

  • Lack of visibility of category performance: Was there a market trend that was incompatible with your strategy? 
  • Not enough information about own and competitive product performance: Were there competitors that moved in the same strategic direction more successfully and earlier than you? 
  • Limited information about appropriate retail channels: Did you include or focus on a retail channel that has not been working for your products or the category? 
  • Wrong pricing strategy: Did your pricing strategy move outside of what your existing buyers were willing to pay? 

Every player in the FMCG world must make strategic decisions in order to maintain their position, let alone grow. Not all decisions result in the desired outcomes but learning from failures can help SMBs make more confident decisions that lead to growth.  

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