Summary: Product Innovation Processes

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  • 2 Lecture 2

  • 2.1 Strategic planning for product innovation

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  • Product innovation strategy:

    Provide direction for filling the funnel:
    • Gap in product portfolio?
    • Focus on specific technology, market, trend?
    • Develop new product platform?
    • Develop new product for existing platform? 
  • Product platform planning:

    • Technological platforms (shared components)
    • Category platforms (shared design or technology)
    • Brand platforms (shared brand values)
  • The product innovation charter

    Agreeing on focus, goals, and guidelines
  • Of what does the PIC consist

    • To chart the new product teams' direction (what technologies, what markets)
    • To set the teams' goals and objectives (why does the project exist?)
    • To tell the teams how they will play the game (what are the constraints? other key information)
  • 2.2 Opportunity & Problem Identification

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  • Three basic types of opportunities:

    • Need (why?)
    • Form (What?)
    • Technology (How?)
  • Importance of customer analysis:

    ‘The most successful new products match a set of fully understood consumer problems with a cost competitive solution to these problems.’
  • Why customers buy a product:

    • Features (What the product consists of)
    • Functions (What the product does and how it works)
    • Benefits (How the product provides satisfaction to the user)  

    These match with customers' problems, needs, wants, motivation, values and usage context
  • What do we get from customer analysis?

    For opportunity or problem identification & analysis:
     Identifying problems and needs (What?)
     Understanding motivations, values and root causes (Why?)
     Understanding the problem / usage context (When and Where?)
     Understanding the user characteristics (Who?)  
    red= constraint, blue= problem/opportunity
  • High-level vs. low-level problems

    • Leaf problems = consequences (lowest level)
    • Central or core problem
    • Root problem = causes (highest level)  
  • 2.3 Customer Analysis Methods

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  • One-on-one interviews:

    • Questioning individuals about product use and problems
    • Phone, lab, on the street

     Easy in-depth questioning (why?, when?, where?) 
     Can be informal & inexpensive, 

     but also very expensive & time consuming

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