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Marketing and Branding
The process of new product development has several stages. These stages may be varied according to the type of product and the practices of the company.
New product ideas may come about from inside the company or from external sources – customers, suppliers, and consultants. They may be a response to competitive pressures and environmental opportunities, or simple from serendipity.
A firm may generate a broad array of ideas, from which the least promising need to be screened out, perhaps by informal testing or formal market research.
Promising ideas are taken forward to the concept stage, and presented to focus groups. This now happens in the UK in the political arena, where policy ideas are put before focus groups.
A business case needs to be made for a new product, in terms of sales and profits against the investment required. Firms have different methods of project evaluation.
The product, once approved, goes into development and a prototype may be tested before production begins.
The product is launched into the market. Timing and the right level of promotion can be crucial. New lawnmowers are launched in the Spring and not the autumn.