The key is not just the invention but the capability to innovate by bringing the product successfully to the market. An important point to remember is that focus of innovation should be providing new solutions which better meet customer needs. Innovative solutions often do not require major breakthroughs in technology. For example Direct Line became the leader in car insurance by removing the need for brokers through its telemarketing campaigns. Or Dell became the profitable computer company just by becoming the first to market computers directly to its consumers. Four brand categories of new products:
1. Product replacement
2. Additions to existing lines
3. New product lines
4. New to the world products
2 Steps for successful innovations are
First Creating and nurturing an innovative culture, which includes: 1. Reward success heavily
2. Tolerate failure
3. Give time off or turn a blind eye to people working on pet projects 4. Be accessible
5. Resist automatic nay saying
6. Back word with resources
7. Clear messages about the role and importance of innovation.
Second, Organizing effectively for new product developments, which includes: 1. Project teams which involve bringing together of staff from such areas as R and D, engineering , manufacturing, finance and market to work on a new product development. Specialized skills are combined to form an effective team to develop the new product concept. These teams are sometimes called skunkworks when they are put together in a location physically separate from other employees to work on a project free from bureaucratic intrusion. Its advantages include the fostering of a group identity and common purpose, fast decision-making, and the lowering of bureaucratic barriers. An organizational change that has reduced product development cycle time is the bringing together of design and manufacturing engineers to work as a team-simultaneous engineering. 2. Product and brand managers; These managers are responsible for coordinating functional areas such as production, sales , advertising, market research etc. They are often responsible for new product development including the creation of new product ideas, improving existing products and brand extensions. 3. New product departments and committees
4. Importance of team work
A study of Gupta and Wileman ased marketing directors of technology based companies what they believed they could do to improve their relationship with R and D and achieve greater integration of effort.Following were the suggestions:- a. Encourage teamwork
b. Improve the provision of marketing information to R and D c. Take R and D people out of the lab
d. Develop informal relationship with R and D
e. Learn about technology
f. Formalize the product development process.
The study also focused on marketing directors’ opinions of what senior management could do to help improve the marketing / R & D relationship. The above mentioned factors a to f discuss how to create an innovative culture the crucial role than senior management play in creating the conditions for a thriving new product program.
Marketing directors mentioned six major ways in which senior management could play a part in fostering better relations. a. Make organizational design changes; by locating marketing and R and D near to each other to encourage communication and encouraging informal relationships and reduce the number of approvals required for small changes in a project which would give both R and D and marketing greater authority and responsibility. b. Show personal interest in new product development through review meeting and helping to coordinate product development plans. c. Provide strategic decisions
d. Encourage teamwork
e. Increase resources: resources should be provided for seminars, workshops and training programs. f. Understanding marketing importance
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