You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” –Albert Einstein
Have you ever walked the grocery aisle seen “New and Improved” or “New Formula” or “New Flavor” or any other combination of words that suggest an improvement? If there is one thing you can count on with consumers, it’s change. Since the earth is spinning at around 1,000 miles per hour at the equator, we are all in a constant state of change. Trends are frequently changing, such as consumer adoption of augmented reality in marketing programs. A great way to adapt to change is to innovate and develop new products.
Philip Kotler, a marketing author, consultant, and professor devised eight stages in the new product development process. The 8 stages include:
- Idea Generation
- Idea Screening
- Concept Development and Testing
- Marketing Strategy Development
- Business Analysis
- Product Development: Develop prototypes. First, have functional tests then consumer tests.
- Market Testing: Conduct pilot market testing of the full marketing strategy.
- Commercialization: With commercialization, one has to ask three core strategic questions: WHEN, WHERE, HOW
In the first stage, idea generation, you look at the needs and challenges of your customers. Talk to various people in your company that interact with your customers. Social listening is also a great way to see what is trending in your industry or what customers are saying about your brand. Lastly, take the insights gained from “listening” and brainstorm with your team to generate potential new product and service ideas. Invite different people that interact with your customers at different points, you are likely to learn something new.
The second stage is the idea screening. Look at the ideas generated from your brainstorming session and break them out into groups, those that have the potential to move forward or drop to reduce the potential risk for errors.
The third stage is the concept development and testing phase. This may be a beneficial time to develop a minimum viable product for a specific target market. The key is to perform a concept test to determine if your idea has potential.
The fourth stage of the new product development process is marketing strategy development. Once you have tested your concept, you can develop a strategy and utilize the marketing tactics specific to your target market.
The fifth step of the plan is the business analysis phase. Spend time evaluating the marketing plan feasibility, focusing on sales, cost and profit estimates.
The sixth step of the plan is product development. Develop your product or service and test the product’s usefulness and then test out with consumers.
The seventh step of the process is market testing. In this stage, you will need to perform market testing of your marketing strategy.
The last step of the product development process is commercialization. This is the stage where the most important three core strategic questions are asked: WHEN, WHERE, HOW
Using the eight-stage process provides the perfect blend of nimbleness to bring your product to market but steadiness to test your concept and determine the feasibility and profitability of the new product or service.