Harbingers of failure

Eric Anderson, Song Lin, Duncan Simester, Catherine Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-592
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Early adopters
  • Lead users
  • New product development
  • Preference heterogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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