A number of methods are used to generate new ideas for products. For example, organizations could screen products over time comparing them with competitor products. This helps the organization determine attributes of the product to be improved and combine different beneficial features of a product to come up with a single product. Moreover, the business could examine the needs not met by product competing in the market and coming up with a product that addresses the need. The organizations could also engage their top minds in idea-generating processes (for example competitions) to come up with a product idea.
From the explanation above, it is clear that idea generation is one of the most important activities of any organization. A number of methods are used to generate ideas for the new product. The first one is ideas generated by the end users or customers of the product (Pride & Ferrell, 2016). This is possible through questionnaires, customer reviews upon purchase of the previous product, or internet research (Cooper & Edgett, 2009). From such encounter and interaction with the customers, the business can exactly demand what the customers want, then produce it.
Product ideas are also generated through focused market research. Extensive knowledge about the needs of customers and an understanding of the dynamics of a market remain to be an important aspect of product development (Cooper & Edgett, 2009). In other words, this is referred to as market orientation since the activities of the companies and their consequent products will depend on the assessment of the needs of the general. For example, Japanese organizations including Toyota are some of the companies that use market orientation analysis to determine the needs of the people and come up with technological changes for their products aimed at increasing its market value globally.
Ideas for a product could also be derived from competing companies as they try to prove the superiority of their product in markets to advance their sales prospective (Cooper & Edgett, 2009). To showcase their superiority, most of these companies tend to organize shows, expos, and seminars. When used effectively, these shows could become an important source of information and business ideas. The business ideas could be informed by technological advances, market innovations and improvement of the existing products as well.
Lastly, product ideas could be generated by the companys employees. The employees are in constant contact with customers, who are the main source of information or feedback for services rendered or product sold (Pride & Ferrell, 2016). As a result, the customers could give vital information and ideas as to how the product may be improved to boost experience, need for a new product or even complains about existing products. In consequence, these employees would act as a major source of information or business ideas that could boost the organization.
Marketing the Product
Once one produces a product from new market ideas and insights, the next reasonable step is to introduce it into the market. Organizations are usually advised to use a set of controllable tools to market the product to get the desired response for their market. This is achieved by use of the 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion, which comprise of a marketing mix. To get the most out of the marketing mix, it is important for the organization to identify the different stages of a product lifecycle.
In the development stage of a product lifecycle, the product is still an idea; therefore, it is not yet availed into the market. At this stage, the company is expected to develop a product based on the needs of its target market (Stark, 2015). The marketing mix variables, at this phase, are in the planning phase and the producers are researching marketing methods that might work and planning how the product could be launched.
The next phase of the product cycle is the introductory stage, which involves the initial launch of the product to the market. The sales at this point are mostly low since the customers are still unaware of the existence of the product (Sharma, 2013). To bring awareness, the company uses the marketing mix to establish a market and create demand for the product through placement (effective distribution chains) promotion activities like advertisement and sales promotion (Luan & Sudhir, 2010). Pricing is also essential at this stage as it attracts the new market.
In the next phase, the growth stage, promotion and pricing is expected to have increased customer awareness of products and the sales are high. At this stage, the marketing mix is expected to show additional benefits attained from the product to set it apart from other products in the market (Stark, 2015; Sharma, 2013). Therefore, the product part of the 4Ps is brought into perspective as the product is branded afresh to improve the sales further.
The maturity stage is next phase of the product where the product has already gained a competitive advantage over its competitors, and its priority is to maintain its dominance. At this stage, the company uses incentives like promotions to create customer loyalty and also encourage others to switch from competing products (Stark, 2015).
Lastly, products enter into the decline stage of their life cycle, which represents market saturation. At this stage, not much can be done on the marketing mix to increase its prospective unless it has retained its customers through loyalty. To revamp sales, organizations are expected to improve the product, introduce a new one or rebrand it to re-establish it in the market and get back to its growth stage once again.
Therefore, the marketing efforts of an organization are vital to its success in the future. Once a company develops a new product, it needs to ensure that it uses its marketing mix effectively to maximize its returns over its lifecycle. That is, within the five growth stages, different elements of the marketing will be adjusted to ensure that the sales are good.
Cooper, R. G., & Edgett, S. J. (2009). Generating breakthrough new product ideas: Feeding the innovation funnel. Ontario, Canada: Product Development Institute.
Gaspar, J., Bierman, L., Kolari, J., Hise, R., & Smith, L. M. (2005). Introduction to business. Massachusetts, US: Cengage Learning.
Luan, Y. J., & Sudhir, K. (2010). Forecasting marketing-mix responsiveness for new products. Journal of Marketing Research, 47(3), 444-457.
Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2016). Foundations of marketing. Massachusetts, US: Cengage Learning.
Sharma, N. (2013). Marketing strategy on different stages PLC and its marketing implications on FMCG products. International Journal of Marketing, Financial Services & Management Research, 2(3), 121-136.
Stark, J. (2015). Product lifecycle management. In Product Lifecycle Management (Volume 1) (pp. 1-29). New York: Springer International Publishing.
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