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New Product Scorecard For Effective Development And Launch

Apr 2, 2008
A product is considered new if it entirely opens up a new market, replaces an existing product or significantly broadens the market for the said existing product. Old products may be considered new when introduced to a new market, newly packaged or is marketed in a different approach.

Some new product sources include academic institutions, acquisition, competition, customers, external investors and internal product development. Development and launch of new products can be very expensive and risky. In fact it is generally said to be riskier than market development or penetration. A way to make sure that the money used in developing new products does not go to waste or to reduce flops in new product launches is to adopt the new product development process.

This process constitutes generation of ideas, selection of new ideas, development and testing of concepts, business analysis, marketing strategy and many others. Planning and measuring of the new product's success may be done against how it performs at various stages of the product life cycle - that is if the company uses this control method over the products' progress. Important stages to consider when it comes to new product launch are the introduction, growth and maturity. The company, however, can choose other indicators as well.

For instance, indicators such as revenue from new product sales, cash flow and profit margin will indicate the performance of a new product from the financial standpoint. New products, however, are usually subject to loss at the introductory stage due to inadequate demand, research and development costs, high fixed costs and others. This must be taken into account when establishing objectives and gauging results.

Also, market share growth serves as a positive success indicator although this may not apply to all products or markets. For instance, there are some niche products or a specific product that is new and needs to open its own market.

Internal perspective indicators constitute indicators that show how the processes within the company affect the new product's success in terms of development and launch. These indicators are budget and schedule compliance, new product development evaluation, marketing mix and occurrence of shortages or excess of new products and resources. Going beyond the budget or schedule or regular shortages show that something could be wrong in the company's operations, which may lead to failure in new product development and launch.

Moreover, frequent evaluation of the new product development process and the marketing mix quality can help boost company expertise as well as identify changes or modifications that can be established to improve product performance as well as the company's performance overall.

The next set of indicators shows how new product launch can affect the situation in the company. Additionally, customer perspective indicators include repurchase rate, number of complaints and customer awareness of new products. Development and production of new products usually require new skills, which could be through training. Employee participation in new product development is also similarly important as well. In addition, evaluation and analysis of every launch is essential in order to achieve company expertise in launching new products.
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