Explain why the process of new product development is frequently represented as a linear process.

Activity-based models of new product development have come to dominate thinking on the subject of NPD. Unfortunately, many new marketing management textbooks continue to represent the process as a linear activity with no provision for feedback. Moreover, new ideas can be generated from many different sources, including marketing and manufacturing.

The linear activity-based models do not recongise this. Question 2Explain why screening should be viewed as a continual rather than a one-off activity. The screening-of-product idea is essentially an evaluation process. It is important to note that it is not a single, one-off activity, as is portrayed in many textbooks.

It occurs at every stage of the new product development process, and question such as: – Do we have the necessary commercial knowledge and experience? – Do we have the technical know-how to develop the idea further? – Would such a product be suitable for our business? Are we sure there will be sufficient demand? Question 3 Discuss how the various groups of NPD models have contributed to our understanding of the subject of NPD. This question requires students to examine and identify the strengths and limitations of the various models of NPD. All have made a contribution to our understanding of the subject and all have limitations. Together, however, they provide a clearer picture of the NPD process. Question 4 Evaluate the wide range of product development opportunities that exist. Ongoing corporate planningThe effect of any corporate planning may be important and long term. For example, the decision by a sport footwear manufacturer to exit the tennis market and concentrate on the basketball market due to changing social trends will have a significant impact on the business. Ongoing market planning Decisions by market planners may have equally significant effect.

For example, the realization that a competitor os about to launch an improved tennis shoe that effects additional benefits may force the business to establish five new product development projects .Ongoing technology management In most science-and technology-intensive industries such as the pharmaceutical and computer software industries, this activity is probably more significant than ongoing market planning. Question 5 Examine the concept of a multidimensional product; how is this helpful? The figure illustrates an abstract diagram of a product, any shape could be shown. The point here is that by changing any dimension of a product it is possible in theory to create something different and if it has not existed before something new.

This concept is development further with different examples of newness. Question 6 Explain Booz, Allen and Hamilton’s (1982) classification of new products. There have been many attempts to classify new products into certain categories. Very often, the distinction between one category and other is one of degree and attempting to classify products is subject to judgement.

It is worthy of note, however, that only 10per cent of all new products are truly innovative. These products involve the greatest risk because they are new to both the company and the marketplace.Most new product activity is devoted to improving existing products. At Sony 80 per cent of new product activity is undertaken to modify and improve the company’s existing products. The following classification (Booz, Allen and Hamilton, 1982) identifies the commonly accepted categories of new product developments.

– New to the world products – New product lines(new to the firm) – Additions to existing lines – Improvement and revisions to existing products – Cost reductions – Repositioning Question 7Why do some marketers and scientists often argue about whether a product is new or not? Many scientists argue that without a scientific advance a product cannot be considered new because it does not contain any new knowledge. Such a view represents the scientific paradigm. Applied scientists are continually searching and exploring for technical improvements that can be applied to products, whereas marketers are searching for new ways to improve a product’s chance of being successful in the market.This, of course, may or may not involve a technical development. And this is the key point.

Because of their scientific background and research training scientists adopt a much more restricted view about newness. Within the scientific community new has a much stricter interpretation than that used by marketers. Question 8 Discuss some of the strengths of network models of NPD. Essentially, network models emphasise the external linkages coupled with the internal activities that have been shown to contribute to successful product development.There is substantial evidence to suggest that external linkages can facilitate additional knowledge flows into the organization, thereby enhancing the product development process (Liker et al.

, 1995; Kamath and Liker 1994; Cusumano and Takeishi, 1991). There models suggest that NPD should be viewed as a knowledge-accumulation process that requires inputs from a wide variety of sources. The model helps to highlight the accumulation of knowledge over time. This may be thought of as a snowball gaining in size as it rolls down a snow-covered mountain.


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