The era of new products

The period after 1984, has witnessed introduction of several new products both in industrial and consumer markets. Some of these products are revolutionary in nature as the Indian market was never exposed to it earlier. Typical advantages of such revolutionary products are high-end music systems like Akai, Bush, Sony, Cellular phones, washing machines etc. Let’s evaluate the reasons for such fast pace of introduction of new products in the city .This fast changing market environment which has become far more liberal and open has led to the foreign products and machineries coming in to the Indian Market. One such example is the import of portable power generators from Japan as were placed on OGL in 1891.Prior to this; there were hardly any portable generators in the country. The crudest forms of products were the invertors.

Such imports therefore, led to a large company going for either technical collaboration or trying to update their own technology indigenously to counter competition from foreign brands .This was true for all products including automobiles. In this case, TELCO developed its own version called LCV, to counter competition with the Japanese LCVs, and therefore TELCO could turn around the table, but this was not seen in the other automobile companies. The product managers in most companies face frustrating experiences of going through necessary processes and failed in 90% of the cases. But the techniques for new product introductions have become far more sophisticated, giving a better degree of assurance to the companies. The environmental changes have been so far more rapid, hence benefits of these techniques have not been tested by the organization.

What is a new product?

A New product is any product which is perceived by the customer as new. This could involve repositioning the existing products or offering the existing products at a lower price, or making improvements in the existing product, or adding a new product item to the existing product line or taking up a product line which is totally new to the organization or new to the World.

1.70% of the cases where a new product involves changes within current product lines of a firm and
2. 30% are new to the organization .The 10% of the new products can really be termed as “new� arising from break-through like television etc

Some of them are revolutionary in nature and demand a change in customer’s habits. A typical example launched by the water filters and water purifiers launched by the Eureka Forbes and Ion Exchange. The several hi-tech products introduced in the Indian markets.

If 20% of the product is known to the customers then the organization can be said to have added to the existing product lines. For example, even before Videocon launched automatic and semi-automatic washing machine with Matsushita’s collaboration, Indian consumers, particularly in the high income or upper middle income group were familiar with these machines.

They had seen them in the news (Matsushita products) in their friends and relatives homes abroad or had been aware of them through the international media. However for Videocon it was a new product from the company .However, in 70% of the cases, the new product represents modifications in existing product lines.

An example of the above is when Hindustan Lever (HLL) launched a bigger cake of Lux it was called New Lux because it was a revision in the existing product. When Videocon launched its music system the company had only added new product to its existing lines. Condensed milk branded as “Milk Maid�, when repositioned as a Dessert ingredient it became a new product. In fact the repositioning gave a new lease of life to Milk maid.