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New Product Development

New product development is vital for the continuing success of any brand.

Often we speak of NPD (New Product Development).  In truth, product development opportunities are more often brown field than green field.  From time to time, ‘category-busters’ do come along (mobile phones, the Millennium Wheel, current account mortgages) but most product work is about extending or improving an existing offer.

The process of product development is more circular than linear, seeking to refine product or price offers to fit more closely with consumers’ value systems

 

 At BDRC Continental we have expertise in all six areas of the product development cycle:

 

New Product Development

This can be a review of consumers’ needs, both overall and within each component of the service and can be enlivened by asking respondents to select images that resonate with their feelings or you can record service attributes spontaneously raised by respondents.

In addition product attributes can be sorted into hygiene factors (basic requirements) and motivators (valued extras), with an evaluation of the client brand on these attributes. In a study on mobile phones for business users we prioritised the different attributes of a tariff package to successfully reposition it to the target  business audience

Ideas Generation

Idea generation is may be undertaken through blue sky workshops. For example, a study of consumers’ ‘financial dilemmas’ produced ideas such as 100 year mortgages and micro-portfolios, as well as suggested communication and advice strategies. 

Building Up

The ‘ingredients’ of a new product or service may be understood, but not the optimum mix. Conjoint is the key quantitative technique which allows consumers to ‘build up’ an ideal product by permuting attributes according to defined rules

The results can be used to play ‘what if’ games and to identify the likely appeal of any combination of attributes, both to the target market as a whole and to specific market segments.  This is achieved through micro-modelling the appeal of a given offer to each respondent and then combining results across the sample

We have considerable conjoint experience e.g. redesigning the features of credit cards; package holidays and hotel services

This is often the key or only stage in service studies. Usually undertaken through group discussions or depth interviews with key market segments, with concepts being shown to the respondents to test reactions.

There may be several rounds of concept development work, each phase involving a more refined concept description. We have used this approach in developing advisory services for a number of leading companies, new added value account services and products as diverse as industrial pumps to a new brand of cookware

 The concept test is a quantitative version of the research described at Stage 4. It measures interest in the concept among a large sample of target consumers and compares results with action standards or volume requirements to evaluate launch. We used this approach to measure the take up of a new gaming service and have used it extensively in financial services research

In the service sector, it is not usually possible to create small batches of product, though pre-launch product trials are sometimes feasible. Thus for a new hotel room design target travellers were invited to trial for one night. Their feedback was captured via self-completion forms. Another example is a new IT system for teaching maths. The prototype system was installed in a sample of schools with it being used for live teaching for one term. Subject teachers gave feedback via in-school mini-group discussions

 

With the product development cycle, pricing the new or enhanced product can often be vital for a successful (re) launch. We have considerable expertise in this field through techniques such as Gabor Granger and Van Westendorp.