Conclusion and reflection
Any key issues for Creating innovation or Market led product development:
Product Concept / product orientation - the product concept holds that product innovation and design will attract customers. The most important parts of their marketing strategy are product quality and improvement. Following a product orientation is a dangerous root (Drummond, Ensor and Ashford (2001, p9)), with the danger of leading to 'marketing myopia' (Kotler, Armstrong and Harris (2013, p10)). Marketing myopia can happen when a business pays more attention to the product itself rather than the experience and benefits the product produces. This practice relies heavily on the resources of a company and does not necessarily play to the strengths of the organisation in addressing market opportunities. However, with the rise of such platforms as kicks starter, a relatively low cost low risk option of having a product concept / product orientation strategy is now available.
It could also be said that sometimes people don't know about the new technology or the new innovation to tell you they want it. Who would've thought the world needed another hoover? Dyson's cyclonic vacuum cleaners were a product of his view "engineering must be considered ahead of form" (Parsons, 2009, p. 8) the world did not need another hoover however Dyson had engineered something brilliant. This is very appealing orientation for me as a product designer. Maybe this would be my orientation at the start of my business, as having the company focus on product innovation and design will attract the customers I want - customers with a designer eye, looking for something new, original and unique. I believe my loyal customers will pride themselves in having something nobody else has.
At the other end of the scale a market led product development is by its nature reactive and the opportunity to gain large market share can be lead by innovation. At a time when technology is expanding so rapidly the time required to carryout effective marketing may result in out-dated products or analysis. The ability to predict future trends and technologies is a challenge. Market led product development is based on market research and an understanding of what the consumer wants. As discussed above, a consumer may not know what they want. Some of the most successful brands are founded on reinventing what the consumer wants, for example Apple with the iPod.
It is my opinion that a hybrid approach can offer the best of both worlds, with an innovative product that is tailored to meet the market opportunities. This is able to play to the strengths of the organisation and only pursue a new innovative product if it has a place in the market. This combined strategy may incorporate other angles such as the societal concept. This is a popular strategy in todays marketplace, which is in-keeping with an increased concern about the environment and societies’ rising standards on ethics. The ethical marketing approach is an emerging trend and an effective strategy. A company that have a societal concept strategy at the forefront of their marketing is Tom’s. Tom’s one for one promise is bulit on a "business philosophy rooted in the concept of Giving. With every product our customer purchases, TOMS helps a person in need. One for One®" (TOMS, no date). Buying a pair of toms gives customers a feeling of greater good when making a purchase, knowing they are giving while also receiving.
In summary of this blog post, to successfully market my product I must satisfy the customer’s needs, which will involve the product performing in relation to the customer’s expectations. Irrespective of the innovative nature of your product or service, for customers to buy your product, they need to know about its existence. This process is called marketing. Having Marketing is an essential management function needed to create a demand for your product (Cyr and Gray, 2009, pp. 1).
Drummond, G., Ensor, J. and Ashford, R. (2001) Strategic marketing: planning and control. 2nd edn. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
Kotler, P., Armstrong, G. and Harris, L. (2013) Principles of marketing. United Kingdom: Financial Times, Prentice Hall
Parsons, T. (2009) Thinking, objects: contemporary approaches to product design. Lausanne: AVA Publishing SA
TOMS (no date) TOMS: One for One. Available at: http://www.toms.co.uk/beyond-one-for-one (Accessed: 1 May 2015)
Cyr, D. and Gray, D. (2009) Marketing Your Product (101 for Small Business). 5th edn. Canada: Self-Counsel Press