NEW PRODUCT IDEAS
New Product ideas are not easy to come by and is not sought after just for the sake of making some New Product. First of all the new product must have better applications than the existing identical product, price advantage to customers and higher returns to the manufacturer. The new product ideas are generated from different sources. We have listed a few of them which may be the root cause for the new product. The sources are listed below:
1. Changing of customer needs and trends in the consumer markets.
3. R and D scientists
5. Foreign markets and media.
7. Trade channels.
8. Top management.
The most important and relevant of all the sources are the developments in the market. These developments can be specific changes in geographic, demographic and psychographic characteristics of the market. These developments affect the customer needs and wants. Customersâ€™ exposure to media affects their needs and expectations. For example, as the urbanization process expands, a number of rural consumers get exposed to satellite television and video, more would be their demand for the latest products in the urban and the world market.
So, while the customers in metro and urban centers would want products which their counterparts in the North America and Europe use, the rural customers expect products which urbanities use. Firms can identify these changing needs of customers through customer surveys, projective techniques and feedback from customers in the form of suggestions and complaints. Perhaps many new products ideas come from customers, describing their problems in using the product. WIMCO, the only organized sector firm in the safety-match industry and also a key player in it, introduced carbonized match sticks, when customers did talk about fire hazards in using the then prevalent match boxes. WIMCO could also develop match boxes that wouldnâ€™t get soggy in winter and monsoons. Both these developments in match boxes came with WIMCO listening to its customer needs. Thus when a firm listens to itâ€™s customerâ€™ problems and expectation, it will always come up with ideas , which will, in the long run, be successful. But it isnâ€™t always that customers know what they want. Thatâ€™s when we say that their need is latent.
Another source of new ideas is a successful competitor firm who makes profits from a new product. A firm may be motivated to test this product idea. It might look for unfulfilled market needs or gaps in this product-market that the competitors may have left. Therefore, competitors can also act as a catalyst in the generation of new products ideas. Often, trade channels members and company sales force are the sources of information on developments in competing firms.
Though a company may turn to different sources for new product ideas, it isnâ€™t that all are equally productive It has been found that most productive sources are customers, R&D, unsolicited customer feedback, observing competitors and company sales representatives. Other productive sources are the top management and university laboratories. The least productive sources are inventors, commercial laboratories, industrial consultants and patent attorneys.
One of the best examples of new product ideas can be from Industrial and consumer electronic goods. Due to invention of new electronic components and printed circuits particularly with onus on reduction in sizes, portability, multiple functions the resultant electronic appliances one can see a sea of changes in the last decade in computers, cell phones, CDs to DVDs, CTVs to Plasma TVs and so on. In all these cases the new product ideas were not only consumer friendly but also increased the revenues of the firms manufacturing them at the same time making their Brand familiar even in rural areas as a house hold name.
We can draw the inference that the new product must have all the positive features mentioned in the aforesaid paragraphs. But the facts are that lot of research, studies, efforts, consumer opinion, prototypes go into the new product by the time it reaches the customers through retail stores.