A Conceptual Analysis on the Different Approaches to New Product Development and the Variables Associated With Modelling the Process

A Conceptual Analysis on the Different Approaches to New Product Development and the Variables Associated With Modelling the Process

Jonathan D. Owens (University of Salford, UK) and Andrew M. Atherton (Lancaster University, UK)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3401-3.ch001
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Globally, new products are launched daily. They provide answers to common or specialised problems, enrich lifestyles, provide alternatives to old solutions, amuse us etc. Companies that develop, design, manufacture, market and sell these products seek commercial compensation in the short, medium or long term “success”, however you measure it. Subsequently, New Product Development is a major issue for most companies as they seek to reduce time to market, reduce the development cycle, access new technologies and develop more and better products and services. New products that can successfully compete in local, national and global markets are a key concern for the majority of companies, so successful NPD is fundamental to both stimulating and supporting economic growth. It is a subject, which has received and continues to receive much attention, particularly in seeking to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. This chapter reviews the NPD process and considers the variables associated with the different approaches, which may be needed when developing a new product.
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Developmental And Importance Of New Products

Various researchers (Beard and Easingwood, 1996; Cooper and Edgett, 2003; Akgun et al, 2005; MacCormack et al, 2012) have identified NPD as a critical element of business strategy for most companies. Even companies that do not wish to grow will still be at risk from competitors, new technologies and the changing needs of customers if NPD is not undertaken (Cooper, 2011). The industrial revolution changed the social-economic structure of Britain and the world. Prior to this, products were usually made and sold within a region, customer needs were easily communicated between the parties involved (as everything was virtually hand-made and made-to-order) and flexibility and uniqueness were almost certain. Investment in machinery and large factories prompted the development of new towns and cities. No area in Britain reflects this more than Lancashire with its cotton mills, where the customer and vendor operated geographically and relied upon brief descriptions and third parties to produce a marketable product. Mass production reduced the standard cost of products and opened the market to more customers. Henry Ford was the first great global exponent of this in 1913 with the production of the Ford Model T. Other automotive manufacturers adopted mass production techniques and although the motorcar was still a luxury item then, it became more accessible to a wider market. Technological advances, customer preferences and economic developments have changed the automotive industry into a highly competitive market. Research and development departments are constantly looking for variants, modifications and improvements that will attract a larger portion of the market (Li, 1999; Petrie, 2008). As a result, companies that do not adapt to and satisfy customers’ needs generally fail (Cooper and Kleinschmidt, 2007; Gerwin and Ferris, 2004). The automotive industry is not unique in having to constantly change; indeed, most industry sectors are under increasing pressure to modify and improve their product ranges (Van Echtelt et al, 2008). Competition dictates that a larger share of, or the maintenance of a current position in the market place, will only be achieved by offering a more attractive product (Jobber, 2009; Wagner and Hoegl, 2006).

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