I love this article by Ken Burnett on ‘failed’ tests: The tester’s dilemma: to go on, or give up?

Technically speaking, only one of his examples was actually ever put to the test in the market … in the other cases, somebody got cold feet before the concept got to that stage.

He uses the Wright brothers to make his point. He recounts how it took them five tries to get off the ground.

Then he gives three examples of concepts where he wished he had pushed harder …

Village Neighbors — sponsor a village instead of a single child.

Evergreens, the ‘Grandparents’ campaign — challenge grandparents to protect the world their grandchildren would inherit.

Interestingly, these first two were developed for existing charities already operating in the space. They were sort of brand extensions. But still, no go.

The third was the Just Add Water campaign – a cause marketing effort for companies whose consumer products involved adding water, like a cereal company. The cause would have been funding water development in Third World communities.

None of these got off the ground.

Should he have pushed harder?

Do you have an “I should have pushed harder” story? Where did it hit the rocks?

Who said innovation was easy?




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