The new product development process defines the success of the company products. A new product process can be defined as the product’s path from creation to launch. This process is a vital driving force to the success of the company product. Many companies foresee the process as the bloodline of their organic growth. New products are developed and managed in a well-analyzed process that will provide success in the field. The new product depends on how they are into the world or to the company. New products can be different depending on the objectives the firm wants to achieve. New products can be new to the world, revisions or improvements, and costs reduced and new to the product line.
Although the new product development process differs from the product, Crawford and Di Benedetto develop a five-phase model that can be applied to all new product development and management. According to Crawford and Di Benedetto, the five-phase model begins with opportunity identification and selection, concept generation, evaluation, development and launch.
Opportunity Identification and Selection Phase
Opportunity identification and selection is the first phase in the new product development and management. This phase is considered strategic and is a road map for the new product team. The opportunity identification phase provides ideas to the new product team and is a pivot to the remaining phases. The new product development team relies on the ongoing marketing activities to draft their plan for developing a comprehensive strategic plan that will lead to the success of the said product (Chauhan et al., 2018). Opportunities are provided by the environment surrounding the firm.
The new product team analyses the environment surrounding the firm and audits the activities to get opportunities that will improve the firm’s well-being. In the process of analyzing and auditing, the firm opportunities are realized. Opportunities can be realized from different sources, including underutilized resources, new rules and regulations and cooperative leadership for the growth in the new markets. Additionally, opportunities can be analyzed from emerging trends and technological advancements. For example, an opportunity can be realized by studying emerging trends and societal changes to drive opportunities for future growth.
Opportunity identification is the most challenging phase. For the success of this critical phase, the new product team should develop an innovation charter that illustrates the risk and degree of innovation. The charter provides ideas and guidance for the innovation and development of the new product. The charter helps outline key ideas and dimensions in terms of market and technology. Having a charter is essential to help the team from losing focus and spending resources on the wrong opportunity. Clear directions will enable the new product development team to integrate effort and help rebuild the lost glory in the organization.
Concept Generation Phase
Identifying opportunities does not essentially provide what is needed. The identified opportunity may not be clear and should be subject to ideas generation. The procedure of creating a product is a frustrating process but sometimes may be fun. A successful concept generation involves studying the problem involved or identified in the first phase.
Concept generation is a broad topic that is essential to new product development. Successful concept generation involves applying the guidance of the strategic charter developed in the opportunity identification. To manage the phase effectively, managers have to put together a creative team that will gear the process to solve the identified problem. Creativity is a crucial aspect of this process. Concept generation procedures involve getting the right people to include in the team and giving them a conducive environment that will enable them to understand what is needed and how creativity is found. The right team can turn nonobvious things into a straightforward concept. The firm must adopt creative people who get original ideas to solve societal problems. Management should develop programs that will benefit creative people to boost their creativity, for example, training. Creative people can also be motivated by being allowed to violate some rules, and management can develop a creative team that is competitive.
The product concept is developed around the ideas of forms, technology and benefit. The form is anything created or, if it is a service, are the steps involved n developing the proposed service. In an aspect of technology, it is the means, or sources of how the form was attained and benefits are built around the customers’ needs and desires. The product’s benefits are built from the value it will provide to customers and how it will solve the proposed problem.
In generating concepts, firms receive ideas from already made concepts while other receives ideas from a formed and run team of creatives. Most firms use approaches that have readymade concepts to develop ideas and concepts. Example of readymade concepts includes user toolkits that involve getting ideas from the users. User toolkits are very friendly to users with their understanding of the product. However, readymade concepts approaches include the inside sources and outside sources. However, the readymade concepts have a legal problem.
Concept Evaluation Phase
Customer impression of the product determines its success. Therefore, concept evaluation can determine customer impression of the prospective product. Concept evaluation is critical in new product development to determine if it will meet customers’ needs and expectations. Companies use this phase to validate the concept before investing in bringing a new product to the market. Evaluation takes part in different ways, for different reasons and by different people. Therefore, this phase of concept evaluation forms a system.
System evaluation’s basic idea is to guide in producing a profitable product. Each step and procedure in the evaluation has a purpose. Ideally, system evaluation is the screening of ideas in terms of uniqueness, how the product will meet customer’s needs, firms’ capability of launching the product, how the firm will b affected, and the match between the cooperative strategy of the firm and the idea and how efficient the firm will be in production., Bringing a new product into the market is not like building a house, but everything is tentative. The new product involves evaluating technical and financial aspects. When technical aspects rule the process, a semifinished product is achieved. According to Crawford and Di Benedetto, analyzing financial aspects of the process leads firms to make complex analyses at the beginning. Financial analysis helps the firm to make an informed decision on whether to invest based on cost and benefits accrued.
Concept evaluation enables the creative team to identify potholes associated with the project. Potholes are significant roadblocks to the success of bringing new products into the market. People cause problems; hence product developers should consider dealing with people. Therefore, system evaluation contains early concept testing. Additionally, concept evaluation is the key to evaluating the market and the benefits accrued using the A-T-A-R model.
Concept testing spells out tools that are used before technical development. The product failed in the market since buyers did not see any value in it; it was not worth buying. Therefore, concept testing forms an essential part of concept evaluation to identify product worthiness. Concept testing enables developers to sort out invaluable concepts, prove the existence of technology in the market, help to learn about buyer thinking and enable segmentation and positioning of the firm. However, concept testing is not for beginners and is full of mistakes. The mistakes are costly.
The product development phase fulfils the product protocol in the concept evaluation phase. During this phase, the program has the attention of all the functional managers. The development phase is essential in design, prototype development, product architecture and product use testing, and organizational and team management issues.
Product design may frustrate or appeal to consumers. Design can be defined as combining human needs and technology into a product. The design varies with the industry. Good designs benefit the firm, perform better in sales, and outperform poorly designed products. Design contributes t the excellence f the new product in the market (Chauhan et al., 2020). However, the product designer role is neglected. Designers undergo training to understand how they are supposed to design a product that will solve appealing products that will solve a societal problem. Product design serves different roles: speed to the market, ease to manufacture, a design that solves customer needs, and design for differentiation.
Product development incorporates architecture. Product architecture is the procedure in which customer needs are incorporated into a design. A firm architecture reduces cost, improves product performance, and speeds products into the market. Product architecture involves outlining the product schematic, clustering the components, using simulation to create a geometric layout, and confirming interconnected schematics. Architecture is critical in developing a new product. The procedure is well connected. It will enable the designer to replace parts easily when needed, and several products can be produced as markets need changes.
A product prototype is a fully functioning desired product ready to be examined by consumers in the market. In the new product development process, a prototype of two aspects, a comprehensive prototype that is essentially a complete and focused prototype which illustrates a limited number of features. The question of what kind of prototype would be developed will depend on the kind and type of primary users. Management of designs should not be of designers but should involve all players in collaboration to achieve an excellent design.
The environment is dynamic, and as a result, computer-aided design helps to achieve collaboration in design. The program offers numerous advantages of bringing players together; they are faster and do more work than human beings (Wijewardhana et al., 2020). Design can be continuously improved by listening to the voice of consumers regarding the design and interface their wants with the product design. Establishing a team with a clear idea of what is supposed to be achieved is paramount in the development stage. The team leader should steer a spirit of collaboration among the members while assigning different roles to them.
The development phase is not yet until the prototype test against the protocol statement. The procedure is known as product test use. Many firms develop product prototype in bulk that is supplied to consumers to confirm their suitability. In the development stage, the role of marketing changes as the product is close to launching. Marketers assess the prototype while in use to assess its performance. Product use testing is necessary for the firms to understand customers’ reactions towards it, assess the product’s competitiveness, and solve complex customer needs.
Launching is the last phase in the development of the new product. Launching is the process of commercializing a new product in the market. The product s ready, and the marketing team is ready to draft a marketing plan. In the early stages, the activity of the marketing team is slow and not intense. The management and the stakeholders are convinced that the product is ready to be commercialized. The activity at the launch phase is minimal if the product is an improvement of the already existing product. If the product is new, the firm as invests in the new distribution strategies and investment in the available modes of communication to sell the newly developed product. Firms should think of two different approaches while launching. The approach includes a tactical approach that involves a marketing mix and the strategic launch approach on whom to sell to and the directions to take.
Product launch is the riskiest and most costly phase due to the fund’s user by both marketers and the production department. However, launch forms the most critical part of the success of the new product. For a successful launch, firms should invest heavily in the implementation of the marketing plan. Often organizations tend to forget the strategic givens. They cover a range of organizations operations since they are decisions that are meant for the organizations. Strategic givens are awful to the organization, and they hinder the changes to made which are lamentations from consumers.
At the beginning of the process the charter that was develop outlines the strategies that guided the whole team to this point. Since the procedure was long and a lot has been learned, there is a need to revisit the plan at the early stage of launching. Revisiting the plan will enable us to understand the changes that have occurred from either the management or customers. Measurement of the success f the product development should include the customer acceptance and financial performance using cash to cash matrix. This matrix indicates the time of initially payment to the final payment of the finished products.
Each launching plan team set its own strategic platforms decision since the plan varies industry. Consideration is based on how the product I new to the universe. For a really new product, the firm should develop a strong entry strategy to stimulate a primary demand for the product. The launching team should consider how the product will diffuse to the marketplace. New product that results from improvement, the firm should develop a convincing plan that will lead to the switch of consumers from the competitors to the new developed product. In a case the firm is developing a product to an already existing product line, the plan should be on how to move away from competition; selective demand.
Launching team in developing the plan, performance type is indicated either temporary or permanent performance. This plan should also include the aggressiveness of the product, competitive advantage, and product replacement. Launching is part of the marketing plan and includes the targeted market, segmentation and positioning of the firm’s products. Marketing department uses different strategies to segment different markets. This strategy includes end-user, geographical, demographic strategies, behavioral and benefit segmentation.
From the mentioned above, new product development and management is a difficult and long process. According to Crawford and Di Benedetto’s model, the process is a five-phase model. The process starts with the identification of opportunities from various sources. Opportunity is identified from evaluation of the firm’s environment and auditing of the firm itself. From the evaluation and auditing of the firm the developer identifies a gap that they need to fill. The second phase is concept generation. An opportunity is an idea that needs to be worked on. The firm selects a team of creative minds that creates an idea from the opportunity. The third phase is the concept evaluation, the firm selects a team that assesses the viability of the idea in the market before making a huge investment towards developing the product. Fourth phase is the development. In this phase the firm work collaboratively to develop prototypes that will be used to test the concept. Designers are mandated with the task to design the product in a manner that will technically solve societal problem. Designers creates link of connected schematic that helps them to assemble the parts in case of any changes. The last phase the launching phase. This the stage of bringing new products into the market. Involves drafting a marketing plan that will facilitate the speeding into the market. A successful new product development and management will be geared by a well-developed team. A product failure is a result of poor quality that do not appeal to the market.
Chauhan, A. S., Nepal, B., Soni, G., & Rathore, A. P. S. (2018). Examining the state of risk management research in new product development process. Engineering Management Journal, 30(2), 85-97. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10429247.2018.1446120
Chauhan, A. S., Nepal, B., Soni, G., & Rathore, A. P. S. (2020). Taxonomy of new product development process risks: An empirical study of Indian automotive industry. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. doi: 10.1109/TEM.2020.299402
Crawford and Di Benedetto (2014). New Products Management (Irwin Marketing). New York: Mc Graw Hill.
Wijewardhana, G. E. H., Weerabahu, S. K., Nanayakkara, J. L. D., & Samaranayake, P. (2020). New product development process in apparel industry using Industry 4.0 technologies. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJPPM-02-2020-0058/full/html?casa_token=4R2pnOuaAHgAAAAA:0TRaMVKAlrYhJ-9-Y5stjmOQ0uBGJSJ9KuoKKxTOBc4XiCOJ3WvZuTUhbK4OtZ4DxxJRCBUtD16FEkfOwVRqCx-OPaeYA9pQIfeLmi5VPF_gU7bEOvZNzg