Winning at New Products | Robert G. Cooper

Summary of: Winning at New Products: Creating Value Through Innovation
By: Robert G. Cooper

Introduction

Are you ready to dive into the fascinating world of new product development? In ‘Winning at New Products: Creating Value Through Innovation’, Robert G. Cooper shares the secrets of successful product launches and the value of innovation. In this summary, we will explore the step-by-step process for new product launches, the importance of customer feedback, and the various ways to stimulate innovative ideas. You’ll also learn about financial methods used to assess the feasibility of new product development, and how the marketing plan plays a pivotal role in the overall process. So buckle up and get ready to learn how to create winning products and drive your business to new heights!

Winning the Battle of New Product Launch

Launching new products is a make-or-break moment that can revitalize corporations, extend your brand, increase profitability, and determine overall competitiveness. When two corporations launch competing products, a fierce battle ensues, and winners follow an established launch sequence. To succeed, the right organization, process, and personnel are crucial. The product launch process involves initial screening, preliminary market, and technical assessment, detailed market study, business, and financial analysis, product development, in-house, and customer product testing, trial sales, production testing, pre-launch business analysis, the startup of operations, and finally, the market launch. To be effective, involve the right people and use a formal assessment procedure to determine overall appeal. Conduct a user needs-and-wants study and concept testing, investigate pricing and competitive products. Conduct a detailed financial analysis, market information, and cost review to avoid failure. The launch sequence ensures that the product is manufacturable, marketable, and profitable. Follow the steps to the letter to maintain order while keeping the creative forces at work. To win the war of product launch, you must be decisive, meticulous, and fully commit to the process.

Implementing a Successful New Product Process

The Stage-Gate process, as used by successful companies like Exxon, 3M, Lego, Corning Glass, and Guinness, is a conceptual and operational model for new product launches that involves gates controlling the process through go/kill decision points and checkpoints for quality control. To succeed in developing and launching new products, businesses need to implement a company-specific approach driven by business objectives and strategies with a well-defined new product strategy at its core. The new product process should focus on quality of execution, prioritization, fast-paced parallel processing, cross-functional teams, customer orientation, and product superiority. However, the process does not necessarily generate good, new ideas. To overcome the limitation of a restricted vision, businesses must develop alternate visions of the future that pose the best and worst possible scenarios for their business. Testing the alternate visions will challenge assumptions, leading to new business approaches and products; customer testing and feedback during development are also crucial in generating great ideas. Without sufficient effort and investment in the front end of product projects, businesses risk launching unsuccessful products at considerable cost.

The Art of Financial Decision-Making in New Product Development

New product development can be a costly venture for businesses, particularly in industries such as pharmaceuticals, communications, and computer services that allocate significant resources towards R&D. To mitigate these expenses, executives must evaluate the financial feasibility of a prospective product throughout its lifecycle using various selection methods. Benefit measurement techniques assess a product’s marketability and integration with corporate strategy, while financial models analyze fiscal variables like discounted cash flow and payback periods. Options theory recognizes that new products are multi-stage investments that require frequent value and risk assessments with each progression. Additionally, portfolio analysis helps prioritize and categorize different projects by maximizing expected profits. The failure to adopt a strong market orientation in product innovation, conduct market assessments, and build customer feedback can lead to disastrous outcomes. While financial decision-making is pivotal, estimates and isolation of each product in calculations can complicate the process. The success of product innovation is critical for future corporate prosperity.

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