The Product Development Process

Product development, often referred to as ‘The Stage-Gate’ innovation process, is when teams collaborate for developing new innovations. These innovations are primarily new products or an improvement of the concept of an existing product. However, as easy as product development may seem, it actually isn’t.

There are many problems and challenges faced throughout the whole process. Are you planning on developing a product but don’t know how to? If so, then here is a complete guide to the product development process and all the steps included to successfully create a new product:

Generating – Analysing Market Trends

To begin, you will first have to assess current marketing trends as well as external and internet SWOT analysis. This way, you can determine the level of competition in the market and can generate ideologies by taking factors such as affordability, widespread distribution costs, and ROI into account. During the product development process, use flexible discretion over which activities are executed and keep the system nimble. This way, you can avoid making costly mistakes that may slow down the development process.

Screening the Idea – Bring the Product to Life

What kind of product will interest consumers? Should it look fancy? Should it be expensive? What are people looking forward to? Idea screening is an important step in the product development process. Answer these questions and try setting specific criteria for ideas that should be dropped or continued. This can eliminate confusion and can even help determine which product idea is better. Therefore, stick to the agreed upon criteria, so poor projects can be sent back to the idea hopper. Jot down all important points about the new product idea and if it has any advantages or disadvantages.

Testing the Concept – Analyse Product Uniqueness

Concept testing is basically done after idea screening. However, please note that this step is different from test marketing. Perform patent research and take a look at the legalities involved with new product development. Keep in mind that knowing where your marketing messages will work best is perhaps the most important part of the testing concept. So, try asking yourself a simple question: ‘does the consumer want, need or understand the product?’

Business Analytics – Monitor Progress

You need to monitor your progress throughout the whole product development process, so consider building a system of metrics. Include input metrics (average time) and output metrics (percentage of new product sales, value of product). By regularly monitoring progress, you can make sure your team is on the same page with you and in agreement of the criteria and metrics. Even if the product idea doesn’t come to life, you can always keep it in the idea-hopper as a basic for growth or learning.

Beta/Marketability Tests – Time for Some Tweaks

Form test panels, launch beta versions, arrange private test groups after the product has been tested to receive valuable information regarding your product. This way, you can make last-minute tweaks and improvements and generate a little buzz as well.

Technicalities – Producing the Product

Provided all the information and technical aspects, the production department will make plans to produce the market. The finance department will provide a good financing plan for introducing the new product. The marketing department will make plans on how to sell, market, and distribute the product. In this step, you will be required to provide photographs, sketches, and drawing with different views, such as rear, front, top, bottom, side and perspective views that describe and illustrate the design of the product.

Commercialize – Time to Advertise and Sell

You have now successfully developed a new product, now all you have to do is get your product into the market. Once this is done, constantly monitor progress and begin advertising. Additionally, take a post-launch review to look for continuous improvements.

So, now that you are familiar with the product development process, creating a new product won’t be a problem.

Dimensions of Brand Personality While Marketing Products and Services

Brand personality refers to human personality traits which are associated with a brand. While branding a product, especially if it is new, or is being launched in a new market, in depth understanding of the Dimensions of Brand Personality is of utmost importance to the product manager or the brand manager.Consumers often describe brands (at least in their sub-conscious level of understanding) by using descriptors of personality traits. Marketers attempt to use this consumer behavior to create or reinforce these perceptions by their positioning strategies. Now successfully positioning a product’s ( or a services’ ) personality within a product category requires the application of multiple measurement models.The dimensions of Brand Personality was first proposed by Aaker (1997) in his famous and highly cited work on the brand personality framework consisting of 5 dimensions of every brand that impacts branding, brand association and brand recollection. Again brand association appears to partially mediate the influence of the competence dimension of brand personality on brand attractiveness.The 5 main dimensions of this framework are Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, Ruggedness. Consumers interpret sincere brands as being down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. Consumers perceive exciting brands as being daring, spirited, imaginative, and somewhat with a cutting edge. Consumers perceive Competence from Reliability, intelligence, and success symbols from a brand. A brand that is perceived to be sophisticated is viewed as being charming and with a higher snob value and thus fit for the upper classes. Similarly rugged brands are perceived to have characteristics of being outdoorsy and tough.Now, since high branding equity tends to develop when consumers have numerous positive and strong associations related to the brand. Brand association, which is defined as “anything linked in memory to a brand” is one of the major components of brand equity. Brand association, which results in high greater brand awareness and greater brand recall has a positive correlation with brand equity because it can represent brand quality and brand commitment. These in turn creates the basic platform for the product (or service) to harness strength to pull consumers, i.e. implement a pull strategy by the marketing manager.Now recognition of the product or the service uniquely by the potential target segment with a strong association can successfully managed only through careful long-term marketing strategy, which involves advertising, pricing, and product development. No wonder that in current times, millions and billions of dollars are being invested in advertising and other forms of marketing communications in order to create product (or service) awareness and product (or service) association, so as to be able to implement a pull strategy.Today, with increased focus to creating a unique marketing mix, be it for the marketing mix of products or for the marketing of services, understanding this framework is of utmost importance to managers managing a product or a service or a category of the same, so as to be able to create a rich differentiation.Do let me know, if you have any clarification regarding the understanding of this article.

Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.