January 29, 2023

Why Product Ideas Fail in China – Top 5 Reasons

Do you have a product idea that you think will make waves in China? 

You’re not alone!

Many aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, and product managers look to break into the international market by bringing their ideas to life in China - but are ultimately met with disappointment when their ideas don't quite take off. 

But why?

According to the research carried out at Harvard Business School; 

"Over 95% of new product ideas failed every year."

The number game incidentally looks like my dating success rate in college - my case was clearly no-hoper! 

But luckily, that's not the case with my professional career; maybe my business luck wasn't that bad.

So, let's find out what we do and what you do to get your product idea off the ground in China. 

In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the top 5 reasons your product may fail to excite people – or worse, be downright ignored - in China! 

Read on for an informative yet helpful journey to hit your business goals.

For those who prefer video content, here’s a video summary of what you’re about to read below.

Product Idea Failure – Who is Responsible?

More and more product managers are looking toward China for offshore manufacturing. Likely, the idea of cheaper labor and raw materials costs has piqued your interest, but it's not all roses. Manufacturing in China can certainly bring some great benefits for companies. Still, if the process isn't understood and managed correctly, then there is a chance something may go wrong – often with catastrophic results.

You had the confidence, resources and support from everyone involved, but it didn't pan out as expected. 

It can be incredibly disheartening for business owners when a project fails – leaving stakeholders wondering how this could have happened. 

So, now the main question is, "Who’s responsible for the failure of product idea?"

The Truth:

When a product idea fails, it's easy to blame external forces from Markets or Chance instead of examining internal factors; however, as product managers or business owners, you should ask yourself.

Yes, you read that right!

From a business standpoint, the responsibility completely lies on your shoulders!

You might have a great product idea, but if you’re not aware of the potential obstacles in China – odds are it won't work out.

But you don't need to feel disheartened. 

We’re here to help you identify and tackle the top five reasons why product ideas fail in China – so you can get back on your feet, and into the international market. 

Top 5 Reasons Why Product Ideas Fail in China – How to Avoid Them!

Whether you're an experienced entrepreneur or just starting with your first international venture, certain pitfalls should be avoided at all costs for a successful product launch. 

To help you on your journey, we have compiled this list of the top five reasons why product ideas fail in China - and how to avoid them!

1. Lack of Market Research:

Research is imperative for the success of your product idea. 

You should ensure an intimate understanding of the Chinese market – such as current trends, customer preferences, and competitive analysis.

This will give you an idea of what type of product is likely to be successful and help you create a strategy for product launch.

The Right Way:

We at MorphoMFG receive hundreds of product ideas every day from eager entrepreneurs. Everyone thought they had a million-dollar idea that would stand out in the market.

Most of them ask our opinion on their product success chances, but to be honest, it's not about personal choice or opinion – it's about understanding the market. 

A Major Mistake:

Most people are so obsessed with their idea that they don't even bother doing the basics of market research. 

This is a major mistake that often results in disastrous business losses. 

You need to understand it's not about what you love - it's all about what the customer wants.

Even some of the largest international brands like McDonald's, Pepsi, Microsoft, and Kodak faced several failures as they failed to conduct proper market research.

The Solution:

The reality is without doing detailed research and understanding the Chinese market, it's very difficult to have a successful product launch.

Most of you reading this blog post might think that we have done our market research and still failed.

That's very true - but are you sure that you have done your market research correctly?

According to Harvard Business Review, "Sometimes the market research is not done correctly, with wrong questions being asked or the wrong people being surveyed."

That's why it is important to understand the customer and their needs and conduct proper market research to get the right feedback before you finalize your product idea.

Only then can you be sure that you have a product idea that is likely to be successful in the international market. 

2. Preferring Price over Quality:

In our +7 years of experience, we have seen a lot of clients that keep focusing on negotiating the manufacturing cost - while overlooking the quality of their product.

That's one of the biggest mistakes you could make while developing a product in China – because it will ultimately reflect on your brand reputation.

A Myth:

Companies think that as long as they are getting the lowest price, they will make a considerable profit. 

But unfortunately, that is not true - because customers these days are more concerned with product quality than price.

That's why people spend thousands on branded sneakers rather than buying them from the local market for a fraction of that price. 

The Solution:

We know how important it is to manage the production cost – we do it all the time as well.

At MorphoMFG, we always make sure to meet our customer’s quality requirements and never compromise on product integrity. 

Using our negotiation skills and direct relations with most manufacturers, we tried our best to keep production costs as low as possible.

But wait...

How do you know if the quote is market competitive or not?

For this, you should have a basic understanding of the industry and what type of cost you should be expecting.

And if you don't have any general idea regarding cost, we suggest you check our detailed pricing guide.

Pricing Guide: Manufacturing Costs of Custom ODM Parts in China

3. Partnering with Wrong Supplier:

That's a worst-case scenario and yet another common mistake most entrepreneurs make. 

In the haste to reach the market quickly, they often partner with the wrong supplier and end up paying a hefty price for it.

For Example:

Suppose you need to produce a product with injection molding. 

And you find a supplier meeting your budget and deadlines - but later down the line, you realize that the supplier doesn't have enough tools and machines to produce a consistent quality product. 

It's a huge setback - which can result in huge losses.

The Solution:

Do your research and ensure the supplier you partner with has the necessary production capabilities and resources to meet your product quality requirements.

But out of thousands of active suppliers in China - how can you find the right one?

Of course, you can't reach out to everyone individually - it's too time-consuming and costly.

That's where a contract manufacturing company like MorphoMFG comes in!

They have a strong supplier base that consists of hundreds of trusted and verified suppliers. So, need not to worry about the supplier's credibility.

Interested in learning more about what to check while finding a reliable manufacturing company in China - Check our recent blog post!

Recent Blog Post: Finding Manufacturing Companies in China

4. Leaving Everything on One Factory:

It's one of the major overlooked reasons why product ideas fail in China.

No matter how reliable your supplier is, putting all of your eggs in one basket is a big no-no.

Why are we saying this?

Ask yourself these 3 questions, and you will get the answer:

I. How can I ensure product quality?

II. What if the supplier does not meet the delivery deadlines?

III. How can I protect my intellectual property and ensure that the factory does not copy my product?

Do you have the answer to all these questions?

It's ok if you don't have an answer - but that doesn't mean your investment is at risk.

The Solution:

You don't need to partner with multiple teams to manage various aspects of the product development process.

Simply partner with a contract manufacturing company that can perform multiple tasks like quality control, IP protection, and even shipping.

How do they do that?

  • They have dedicated QC teams to inspect the quality of every product - during manufacturing and before shipping as well.

  • We at MorphoMFG use a special "Component Control Method" to protect your IP by dividing the production process into multiple parts and assigning each part to different factories. This way, we ensure that the intellectual property remains secure throughout the manufacturing.

  • Our qualified logistics managers monitor every shipment and ensure the product reaches you on time. 

So why worry about something that a professional can handle easily at a reasonable cost?

5. Lack of Awareness of Chinese Business Culture:

Having a great idea for a product is one part of the equation to success – but if you don’t understand the Chinese business culture, that idea can fall flat.

The Best Way:

The best way to ensure success is for companies to take the time and research aspects such as language and etiquette to ensure their product ideas are well-received by their Chinese counterparts.

Doing so will save time, money, and energy by avoiding unnecessary blunders. 

So before you head out on your path to success, be sure you have all your cultural bases covered!

The Solution:

You learn about the basics of Chinese culture but how do you crack the language barrier? 

Well, don't worry! 

At MorphoMFG, we have a team of bi-cultural professionals who are well-versed in both English and Mandarin. 

They can help you easily navigate the cultural nuances and ensure your product ideas remain intact. 

So don't let the language barrier stop you from realizing your product dreams - team up with MorphoMFG for guaranteed success!

If You Are One of Them – China Is Not for You!

If you are one of those who think Chinese manufacturing is all about finding the cheapest source, then China might not be for you! 

Cheap manufacturing does not always guarantee quality and durability. 

And when the product fails, you will end up losing your investment in no time - blaming your supplier or China.

One should also avoid bringing their product idea to China if they are not research-oriented and can't distinguish between a good supplier and a bad one. 

Don’t Rush – Find out How MorphoMFG Can Bring Your Product Idea to Life in China

At MorphoMFG, we believe in taking things slow and steady. 

We understand that each product idea is unique in its own way, and our team of experts are dedicated to helping make your vision come alive. 

We start by understanding your product requirements, design needs and manufacturing processes. 

Once that's done, we conduct a thorough supplier review and establish a contract with the most qualified factory to ensure your product meets both quality and safety standards. 

We take pride in our IP protection measures, strict QC processes and delivery timelines. 

Why Choose MorphoMFG?

  • +7 years of experience in contract manufacturing in China.

  • A team of +40 qualified staff members, including engineers, product designers, QC professionals, and project managers.

  • Hundreds of certified factories nationwide. 

  • Thorough IP protection policies.

  • Quick and efficient customer support.

  • One-stop solution provider from manufacturer onboarding to product delivery.

We have worked with some leading brands and helped them create cost-effective products while maintaining premium quality. 

You might be the next one!

So why wait? Schedule a call today, and let us help you take your brilliant product ideas to the next level. You can also check out our extensive range of services by visiting our homepage

We are excited to help you bring your product ideas to life!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Best Product Manufacturer in China?

Regarding product manufacturing, China has some of the best providers in the world. 

From smartphones to apparel and home furnishings, Chinese manufacturers are known for producing quality products at competitive prices. 

But if you're looking for the cream of the crop, which is really the best product manufacturer out of all these options? 

Well, that depends on what product you need! Certain companies really excel in certain fields – Apple may be better at creating phones, while Yeezy may master footwear better than anyone. 

The Right Way:

Do your research and figure out who fits your needs best before committing. Don't just fall prey to their online reviews, as most of them can be faked. 

At MorphoMFG, we can help you make the right decision by onboarding the right manufacturer for you. So, schedule a call today and let us help you find the perfect match. 

Is Sharing Product Ideas with Chinese Manufacturers Safe?

Sharing product ideas with Chinese manufacturers can be safe depending on the measures taken to protect your Intellectual Property. 

Because in the beginning, no one wants to take the risk of investing in a new product without knowing if it will be successfully completed.

But what if the product went viral?

You have already shared the idea with several manufacturers and have no control over it. 

The Solution:

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) are not enough. Because you already shared the design files to get quotes from different manufacturers.

So don't worry!

Only share your design file and specifications with MorphoMFG. We will divide it into multiple components and assign it to different manufacturers to ensure that no one gets a full picture of your idea. 

And that's what we call the Component Control Method. So, let MorphoMFG handle it, and you can rest assured that your product idea is safe with us. 

About the author

Josh Fairbairn

CEO of MorphoMFG, fluent in Mandarin, Blogger, and Youtuber. Josh loves interesting materials and the craftsmanship that goes into creating innovative products - watches, tech, games, whisky, leather, wood, blockchain & electronics. Josh and his team in Guangzhou, China are striving to create (& consume) the world’s highest quality products. Partnering with entrepreneurs globally to help solve the world's problems - whether small or large.

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