November 14, 2019

The Innovator’s Guide to New Product Development

You have a product that works. It’s popular and, as a result, revenue is high. This situation is great – you’ve all but got your feet up on the desk. But as much as you market and re-market the product, it won’t last forever.

Maybe your product’s success will last a long time, right until you run out of people to market it to. Maybe your product’s success will be brought to an end by the changing tastes and habits of consumers. Or maybe, if you’re unlucky, a competitor will come along with a better version and your product’s success will head downhill much quicker than anticipated. Or maybe it’ll be something completely different. Whatever fate your product falls to, evolving your stock and launching brand new products into the market is essential to stay competitive.

Every consumer brand in the world survives on more than just a single product. In a world where technology creeps into even the most unlikely corners of consumers’ lives, even traditional brands must develop new products that meet the needs of a market that’s increasingly obsessed with digital-everything. Brands that aren’t digitising their products often suffer from stiff competition, and sometimes (Kodak and Blockbuster, we’re looking at you) even fail completely. And digitising isn’t the only change needed to keep consumers happy; people are increasingly concerned about mental and physical health, reducing single use plastic consumption and redefining social norms too. These are just some of the key lifestyle trends that could cause your current products to become outdated or irrelevant.

New Product Development (NPD) is crucial for your brand (if you’re to avoid going the way of the now- infamous brands that failed to evolve). But building a new product is also risky. How can you mitigate the risks, while still being innovative enough to beat the competition to a new money-spinner?