New product development (NPD) has long been recognised as one of the corporate core functions. However, measuring new product success has remained elusive. This paper attempts to examine several conceptual issues underlining the measurement of new product success and the measurement practice adopted in Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The sample included 276 SMEs from two most innovative industries: chemical and machinery industries. Results have indicated that four factors underline the commonly used success measurement: financial performance, objective market acceptance, subjective market acceptance, and product-level measures. These four factors are related to each other and can be used to well predict the overall measurement. The most frequently used specific measures in Australian SMEs are customer acceptance, customer satisfaction, product performance, and quality. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.