It has been discussed at large that to sustain the revenue growth and the value; organizations need to be innovative at different strata and phases of market and product life cycle respectively. Considering the issue of Virgin Mobile, it is a matter of problem solving propelled by the uncertainty of the stakeholders support and the forecasted possibilities of failing of the existing service plans. Though; to nullify the risk factor of diminishing revenue and the brand image, substitute product coupled with service plane has been introduced.
But, like most of the products it will take the brand through a wild ride to gain the market acceptance and to justify its stand against its competitors. To deal the issue strategically; the paper will assess and evaluate the product development process, while differentiating the case of new and existing products, factors of product designing, system administration for new product beta stage, re-launching of product into new market and factors involved in designing the proposed product. The holistic approach under the spotlight in this paper is about the process of the product development.
New product development (NPD) is the concept of total cycle of the product engineering; to market the new product or the service to boost the business. The process can be executed by following a parallel dual path transition. One path looks after the idea generation, product design, and the detailing of the product engineering. But interestingly, the progression and the acceptance of the proposal of a new product can only take place; if the other side of the parallel process takes its stand.
The other way that involves the activities like market research and marketing analysis carry ground work to formulate the further plans that propels the details engineering. The product life cycle management, which observes and help sustain the growth of the market share through the quadrants of the life cycle curve, considers the development of the new product to be the first stage of promoting and marketing the new product in the entire product life cycle.
In this inception stage, the development process has structured steps of thinking about the product, its viability to the target audience, its needs and the features required, the sales projection and the revenue expected to be generated, having a real time experience with the product proposed and the other ancillary plans to make the product market. The above stated gist can be technically explained under the following sub-headings. Idea Generation: The brainstorming activity for the new product can only take place when the organization has already conducted the SWOT and the opportunity analysis.
A clear conception out these tests helps ideate to take the project forward. This also takes the process to its next level of idea screening. Idea Screening: As the meaning of screening suggests; it eliminates the possible unwanted elements in the course of the new product development. It seeks about the product benefit to the customers. The size and the projected growth factors in the new market and the market trend of the product or service concept is based on. This to measure how feasible will it be to manufacture the same; technically in regard of cost to price ratio.
Concept Development and Testing: In short, this involves the product engineering, which further involves the issues like, end users, the features, product benefit, and cost effectiveness of the product, experiencing a real time scenario and deciding on the actual market price. To gather knowledge on these; it takes a thorough survey of the target segment. Business Analysis: Depending on the potential customer feedback and the competitors stand, the process again revises the ideal selling price of the proposed product to be marketed.
Other measures that follow the suite are the sales volume projection calculated on market size, estimated bottom-line and the break-even point. Beta Stage: This is a dramatic event of conducting the real time execution of the proposed product. This is the prototype stage where the product is being used on the customer to collect feedbacks and acceptance by introducing at the shows and conducting interviews. This helps to build the brand identification process that will boost the initial selling in the actual scenario.
Technical Implementations and Commercialization mostly considered as the post-NPD activity consider the ancillary factors like the resource estimation, operational planning and the vendor line-up and the other logistic issues. Besides, it steers the post NPD promotional agendas and the channel management too (Ulrich and Eppinger, 2004). To manufacture a new product that suites the market, it needs an important consideration of the factors that make the product designing a success in the market.
In the gamut of product management; credit for the successful new product designing that took the market decently, goes to the category of industrial designing. This genre has an unparallel contribution to product designing in terms of technical know-how, product, its process, aesthetics, usability, and ergonomics. It has the keen observation on product engineering, attributes, market placement; leading to attractiveness, psychology, customers’ need, want and desire and the emotional attachment of the end users with the brand.
According to different designers and school of thought the designing aspects may vary though (Pulos, 1988). The factors of new product designing are the professional concepts to create and develop inputs that strike the balance and logisize the function, value and the look of the products and services to leverage a common benefit for both the user and the manufacturer. The concept is big enough to encompass the entire development process of a new product. But in the year 1967, the total concept has focused of the five major backgrounds as per Dreyfuss.
Utility: This counts on the products’ user interface in terms of safety, ergonomic approach, and the perceived value of the consumers. Here the concern about the features is about communicating there utilities to the customers. Likewise Virgin’s Data card alone; gives an internet support on go. It is mobile and can enhance the communicating usage of laptops or notebooks. Further, the alternative plan of strategic partnership with IT companies will facilitate the communication features of the notebooks; following a diversified revenue earning.
Appearance: This factor reflects the plan and the success of stand-alone proposed product in the crowd of the competitors to stand out of the crowd. As the market is flooded with me too products, the factor like this takes care of form, shape, size, proportion, and color to provide the customers a pleasing presentation. This is particularly in terms of the data card only, not the product development and enhancement with strategic partnership. Ease of maintenance: In this jet age, clients will hardly have the spare to dedicate and cherish the product.
The main concern would be the performance and service of the product, for which the factor stated shoulders the responsibilities of easy maintenance, which will not need high involvement of the owner and accessibility to the service hubs for effective after-sales-service. Low costs: To equip the product with forms and features the market price of the same finally goes up. For Virgin; it should bear in mind that proposed product is going to make-up the revenue gap and is set to gain back the confidence of the stake holders.
Thus keeping the cost low will help the product and organization to penetrate the new market and introduce the newly developed product smoothly. Communication: This is the factor that highlights the visual features of the product and of course the organizational and brand image. Communication reflects the philosophy of the company; with which the stake holders are heavily involved. In case the product is communicated well from all the aspects; it will help to go off the rack fast, with a promise of yielding more revenue from the process.
The entire process plays a significant role surrounding the forte of industrial designing and goes hand-in-hand to lay down the factors of product designing for a successful commercialization (Ulrich and Eppinger, 2004). After the session long development process of a new product the most challenging stage comes with the appearance of moment of truth. At this stage; the organization put proposed product in a usable model to collect the customers’ reactions to predict potential future of the product in the real market situation.
Though mostly people consider prototype to be a fully functional model with full form and shape, to be examined by the potential customers, it is further subdivided by the designers as the comprehensive prototype and the focused prototype. The initial type is the essential form the model determining the success and the coordination of all the components, and judging how well they are functioning together. Where as the latter; being focused deals with the limited number of attributes and features.
The model; here is more ken in observing certain areas of concern. This can be of importance while developing an existing product design, where the designer knows the particular area needs to be modified or revamped. But; to ensure the smooth running of the concept, a system administration is required to steer the phase. This counts the administrative faculties like, Quality of the user interface that will evaluate whether the data card is understandable by the user and is easy to handle or jack-in into the ports of notebooks.
Will the Emotional appeal meet the psychological needs of the customers to make the product a success? Maintenance and repairing process should be easy and user friendly to the users. Appropriate use of resources oversees the right usage of features that will fetch the customer his or her value for money, etc (Crawford and Di Benedetto, 2004). As discussed earlier; the new product involves an extensive development plans, considering both the aspects of present and new products and markets to place in the market in the successfully. But in case of existing product it has edge
Source: Harvard Business Review over the new products as it already holds the earned market share and the awareness. But to boost the performance of the existing products; organizations re-launch and redesign, which creates atleast three key differences than that of the new product development. For a company to expand with its existing product; Market penetration is the least risky key to adopt. As the penetration happens when a company enters the market with existing product, the first approach is to do the poaching of the competitors’ client base.
Further it can attracts the non users and the existing users to increase the usage by means of promotional activities and highlighting the enhanced attributes the will make the life of the new and existing users’ life better. This is the key of existing markets and existing products. In case of an existing product; the key of the Market development can help the same to fit in and create new segments with its established brand image, like Lucozade shifted from the sick children target segment to the athletes.
Here the market was not new; but the company, which got into motion with time. Companies can use the key of Product development too, where the market exists but the product is new, though for the company; not for the market as the presence of other brands have made the product an existing one, the organization is venturing with its version to squeeze more revenue from the old product too (Ansoff, 1957). The conclusive step of the entire development process circles around the factors that govern the proposed product.
The stand alone product like data card should concentrate on the concept evaluation measuring the technical and the marketing factors to know the rank of the product at the present state. It controls the financial issues too including the tariff to stand the competition. As the proposal has been made after the initial stages of the developmental process, it becomes more focused, which leads to stage commercialization.
In the technical development task it undertakes the responsibilities of the protocols of the prototype and the production line up to make it eventually ready to scale up at the time requirement and subsequently to market the product proposed. Besides, marketing strategies holds plans for business proposals, product augmentation and launch the marketing activities to complete the process of proposed product designe.
Ansoff, I. (1957). Strategies for Diversification. Harvard Business Review, 35, 5, 113-124.
Crawford, M. and Di Benedetto, A. (2004). New Products Management. (7th ed). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Pulos, A.J. (1988). The American Design Adventure 1940-1975. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Ulrich, K.T. and Eppinger, S.D. (2004). Product Design and Development (3rd ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Ullman, D.G. (2009). The Mechanical Design Process (4th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.