New Product Introduction and Branding

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Camellia Sengupta
  • Published August 7, 2022
  • Word count 962

In today’s date, as consumerism grows, so do opportunities for a company to take command over its market. Whether it decides to expand its consumer base or enter a new market, it has to cater its product or service to the target market. Consumer habits are evergrowing and everchanging, therefore to keep their loyalty intact and to increase profits, companies must continue to innovate (“New Product Developments”). This is why, product development is necessary (“New Product Developments”).

The Toy Market in particular, is an interesting market to study the importance of new product development and branding. Toys are essential in a child’s life to help them grow, along with their imagination (“Global Toy Market (2021-2026)”). Toys have evolved over the years, from dolls and cars, to toys that aid with learning and motor skills, as well as digital play: this highlights the trend and importance of new product introduction, as it has helped the market develop. Early on, the target market for toys were mainly children. However, as parents were the ones purchasing toys, the market learned to cater their branding and advertising to them. Lately, the market for adult/teen collectors have been ever growing, which has indicated the need to cater to this additional segment as well. Additionally; the population of children is expected to increase in the coming years, which displays a need to expand the market, thus dictating a need for New Product Development and Introduction (“Global Toy Market (2021-2026)”).

Delving into New Product Introduction, the process must be cross functional across several internal departments, in order to keep the process smooth to avoid bottlenecks (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). The benefits of NPI include a faster time to market, lower costs, smoother manufacturing, and higher quality (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). The steps for NPI in order, include: Solidifying the Plan, Determining Feasibility, Developing the Product, Running a Pre-Production Test, Manufacturing the Product, and Evaluating the Result (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”).

As per the Toy Industry example, the pre-first step will include identifying the new product to innovate. Branding is an essential concept in this case, to connect the product with an apt target market. If an idea for a toy (for ex.) is already developed, then market research must be conducted to identify the target market. Focus Groups, Surveys, Observational Research, etc. must be employed. Qualitative research is especially key for this industry, as playing patterns must be observed between children and their parents/siblings, and behavior patterns amongst adult and teen collectors must be observed to create and cater a product better suited to each segment’s need.

Next, for Step 1, a cross-department team must be put together to identify resources and set up effective plans/goals (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). Often times, a disconnect may form between internal departments, creating budgeting, innovational, or manufacturing issues. For example, the Finance Team may want to produce a lower quality or less innovative toy to keep up with the budget, which will hamper the company’s sales and product positioning. Therefore, this essential step will help address and avoid those issues.

Next, feasibility of the product must be determined by creating a process flow diagram, and the design/marketability concept must be determined by using a Design for Manufacturing Test (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). This helps determine the team if they should move forward or not. In this case, branding is again an important tool to decide marketability. It must be evaluated if the line is to be extended or if the product should cater to several markets. The brand positioning must also be determined in order to identify a marketable segment.

Thereafter, the product should be developed. In this step, coordination across departments will help the manufacturing, forecasting, and shipping processes run smoothly to create an effective, well working product (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). Therefore in the toy company example, the Marketing Department must coordinate with the Finance, Manufacturing, and Forecasting Department, etc. to produce the toy with a budget as low as possible, while keeping quality and innovation intact.

Running a pre production test is essential for the supply chain process as it helps determine demand, resources, supplier essentials, and effectivity of the product before it’s launched officially (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”).

Next comes manufacturing the product (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). In this step, periodic quality checks of each batch, as well as correct information flow is needed in order to avoid bottlenecks. The last part of the step includes product launch (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”).

Finally, the last step involves evaluating the market results of the product, 30-60 days after the product launch (“Understanding the New Product Introduction (NPI) Process”). In the Toy Company example provided, the company must engage in market research to evaluate profits, sales, and success of the product. They must also evaluate where brand positioning and customer loyalty stand. Depending upon the results, they must employ an advertisement strategy. For example, if the product becomes a hit in the Collectors Market instead of the Children’s Market, the product must be repositioned by increasing the cost of the product as well as the quality, to be marketable as “exclusive”. Events like Trade Shows may be conducted in these cases with exclusive invited, to cater to the collector community.

In conclusion as put forth above, NPI and Branding are important factors that a company should implement in order to take their market positioning to the next level. By following the NPI steps and Branding Implementation, the company will benefit with higher profit, higher quality products, higher sales, a more loyal customer base, etc.

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