No process of developing a product will be the same. The amount of variables throughout new product development means every path will be different. However, there are also some larger, and broader differences that can be distinguished within this process. In this article, we will explore some of these larger differences, and hopefully distinguish some of the different forms new product development can take. What distinguishes these processes from one another is often one key factor within the process. So, we’ll be specifically examining some of these factors and seeing what it is about them that shape the whole process.
Firstly, there is the level of innovation surrounding the product. In other words, whether this product is completely new to the market as a whole, or a product new to your business but made by others in the market before. If it’s the former, then the creative process is going differ massively, as there will be no foundations to build from. Instead, the creative process will solely create the product idea and its functions. In this scenario, more emphasis should be placed upon concept testing. This is where public feedback is received, once a concept has been created through the creative process. This allows public feedback to be taken on board before the manufacturing process or business analysis begins.
While if a substitute good, or even a few, already exist within the market, there is a basis to work from. Obviously, you wouldn’t be making this new product if you didn’t think you could improve in some way, on what is already on the market. This might mean the creative process turns into more of an analysis of products currently available on the market. Theoretically, if this process can find the individual strengths and weaknesses of each individual product that is already out there, then you can utilize the strengths and avoid the weaknesses for your own product.
If you are an existing/established business, it is likely you will have some form of company-wide policy on how new product development is carried out. A brand new business won’t have this structure, especially if you’re a sole trader. Many entrepreneurs find themselves in this situation. With the lack of resources available, it is often worth outsourcing procedures to market research firms and the likes. This specialist help can help strengthen the product development process, and address some of the disadvantages you’ll have against bigger, more established companies.