The central role of market research techniques in innovation: User/customer integration in a modern product development process

Sheri Morris

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


Over the last 50 years, there has been a 400 percent reduction in the length of the average product life cycle which is a result of an accelerated pace of product innovation (Von Braun, 1997 & Cooper, 2003). New product development is a means for a company to gain advantage, secure a position, or win a new customer. The more successful and timely an organization can develop new products, the more likely it is that organization will not only survive but prosper. As suggested by a review of the literature and studies, there are several factors that significantly affect a product’s chances of succeeding or failing. Many of these factors are associated with resources resulting from marketing activities that integrate the user/customer needs into the process. There is a significant amount of research that indicates that conducting early stage marketing activities greatly improves the likelihood of new product success, yet the deficiency of these activities is one of the most commonly stated reasons for product failure by NPD managers. One theory for this lack of thorough execution of NPD marketing research stems from a lack of knowledge about which methods to use to integrate users/customers’ needs into the Stage-Gate process (Cooper). This issue may arise from an innovation process manager’s lack of experience and knowledge with marketing techniques due to a heavily technical or business oriented background. It may also be due to an overliteral interpretation of the illustration of Stage-Gate. This thesis is a detailed examination of the common factors of new product failure, the established criteria for new product success, the market research tools available for integrating the user/customer needs into the innovative process, the Stage-Gate process in various iterations, and a definition of user/customer integration. The examination of these topics results in the development of an enhanced innovative process model called the Product Innovation Bloom Model. Inspired by the Stage-Gate process models developed by Cooper, this new model will outline specific market research tools that can be applied and how to execute the stages and gates in a natural flow that will integrate the user/customer through-out the entire innovative process. Thereby, allowing an innovative product idea to ‘bloom’ into a successful new product.

UddannelserCand.merc.bcm Brand and Communications Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
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