Increase of competition has made product development and marketing one of the biggest efforts for companies. Large amount is spent towards product development and launching by new and existing companies. It can be seen that most cases fail mostly due to lack of technology usage. Technology is fast developing and can be used effectively for success of a new product during every stage. Legal and ethical issues are also creating issues to companies which are now exposed more to consumers in the context of globalization and consumer awareness. This paper deals with issues of new product development, product launch, technology usage and legal and ethical issues faced by companies.
Issues with new product development and launching
New product development (NPD) can be defined as development of a new product to introduce to market. A business will have to develop new products due to various reasons like increasing competition, consumer preferences, technological advancement etc. A business can remain successful be being innovative and for this it is necessary to understand the demand of market and marketing smart products with improvements or developing innovative products capable enough to meet customer demand and expectation (Kaynak, 2012). There are several issues faced by companies during development of new product and this paper deals with such issues.
Challenges in New Product Launches
Introduction of a new product in market is extremely challenging than its development. New product introduced by a company might be
- A completely new product that was never marketed by the company ever before but is there in the market from other companies
- An innovative product that is not present in the market and that might be modified, improved or original product (Rafinejad, 2007)
New product development can be by an existing or a new business, freelancers or sole traders. Anyone can develop a new product through research and development and introduce it to market. But success of a new product depends on various factors and most important among them is launching. Product launching is the most important aspect that leads to the success or failure of a product in market. First is the market study to know the exact time for launch, target market and customers, technological benefits and legal and ethical issues associated with the launching of a new product (Kaynak, 2012).
Challenges: example number 1.
One of the biggest flaws faced by companies during product launch is that they are not able to support the growth of demand for product. Even if a product is launched successfully and accepted by consumers, it is not possible for company to meet the increase in demand and thus they fail. In 2000 Mosquito Magnet was introduced in market by American Biophysics and this became great success. Carbon dioxide was used in this product to lure mosquitoes and trap them. It received wide publicity and was accepted by market very fast. Then the company expanded productivity and shifted to China leading to a drop of quality. Consumers became so angry that demand failed all of a sudden and product went off from market. American Biophysics was sold to Wood stream at $6 million though they used to make $70 million as annual revenue at a time. Mosquito Magnet is bringing profit to Wood stream now, but its original shareholders have very little income from this successful product (Anandan, 2009).
Challenges: example number 2.
It is necessary for a company to develop a product completely before launching it. Windows Vista is one such product that launched at a time that was not appropriate for its launching. Though it cannot be said that the product launched before it was fully developed, the company failed to solve most of its issues before launch. It was in 2007 that Windows Vista was launched. It was launched with high expectations by company with an investment of $500 million towards marketing. Even consumers viewed it with great expectation and company also thought that in two years 50% of windows users will run Vista premium edition. Though it was launched in right market it failed to gain success. The software had so many issues of compatibility and performance and even most loyal customers of Microsoft revolted to it. Vista became a major flop and consumers even began to believe that the product had more issues than it actually had due to Apple ad campaign (“I’m a Mac”) (Lodato and Lodato, 2008).
Challenges: example number 3.
Today consumer is aware of each product and wants to get educated about that. Thus it becomes necessary for company to educate consumer while launching a product or else it might not help the product in market. For example in 2004 a scent called Febreze Scentstories was launched by P&G called “player”. It looked like a CD player and it emitted scents in a span of every 30 minutes. Product was launched and for launch commercials singer Shania Twain was hired. This created confusion among consumers and most of them thought that there was both scent and music in the devise. The product failed due to this ambiguity and this is a clear example of need of customer education. It was necessary that the company made it clear that the product was only scent and there was no music in it. This was a new product that defined an extremely new category but created anxiety among consumers and flopped for lack of consumer education (Kahn, 2006).
Technology and New Product Development
Today technology plays a major role in new product development and launch. With advanced technology communication has become so fast that consumers will get news about each and every product in market with in few minutes. Consumers are so demanding and need to get educated about a new product. Without knowing in detail they won’t go for a product and hence consumers are to be made aware of the benefits of a product along with its launch (Kumar, 2005). Technology can be of great use in this. At the same technology is also helpful in product development. Technology can also be used for market survey, through which company will be able to find out exact market for launching their product, exact time and methods to be followed for launching. Further technology can also be used for getting customer feedback and making up gradations and updates (Viale, 1998).
Technology: example number 1.
American Biophysics launched Mosquito Magnet in 2000 at perfect timing. The target market was also perfect for mosquitoes were considered as carriers of life threatening diseases due to scare of West Nile virus. Further they didn’t use any harmful chemical in their product and were using only carbon dioxide to lure the insect to trap. Thus the company used technology for studying market, developing product and launching it in apt market with perfect timing (Anandan, 2009). But at the same company failed to meet the demand of market and supply the product with same quality. This failure resulted in a major loss and at a stage the product went off from market. A company must also use technology to adapt to market conditions and to change accordingly. They must be able to use technology to meet the demands of market. Technology is to be made use of in every aspect of marketing and not only during launch of a product.
Technology: example number 2.
Though Microsoft is a technologically advanced company they failed to launch their product successfully in market. Microsoft launched Windows vista without solving its issues completely and even loyal customers revolted against this. If Microsoft was able to wait for some more time and solved the issues associated with Vista, they might have been able to make its launch a success. They didn’t use technology to check the demand of consumers as well as consumer expectation. They didn’t make use of technology to know the market trend of consumer education. Instead the company just launched their product without any market study. They were also not able to foresee the reaction from their rivals and do the needful to resist that. Apple was able to lampoon the flop of Vista through their campaign (“I’m a Mac”) (Lodato and Lodato, 2008). Apple was able to create a feeling among customers that Vista has more issues than it really had. Technology is so fast now and it will be easy for a company like Microsoft to understand all these matters with proper use of technology. It was their fault that resulted in failure of Vista which was launched spending $500 million towards marketing.
Technology: example number 3.
Technology is the most important and most useful thing that can be made use of in product development and its launch. P&G in 2004 launched Febreze Scentstories which was a scent emitting machine that looked like a CD player. Idea was very innovative and was so launched with great expectation. For the launch company hired Shania Twain the famous singer. Disc or device was named like “Relaxing in the Hammock”. Launch by a singer and the name along with shape of machine all created confusion among consumers. They expected to hear music along with scent from this single device. This ambiguity led to failure of this product (Kahn, 2006). If the company had made use of technology to educate consumers this product would not have failed. Instead it might have become a great success with such an innovative idea.
Legal and Ethical Implications in New Product Development
It is also necessary for companies to look for legal and ethical issues while developing a new product and launching it. A product that is not acceptable to a certain society cannot be launched there even if it is a great success in other countries. Most ethical and legal issues in business was there for years but is revealed now due to globalization. Most practices like tax evasion by companies are now considered as questionable and very serious. Another issue that is being discussed mostly is discrimination of wages. Most multinational companies pay their top executives in million during their service and as retirement benefits while common employee are given nominal amount as salaries and least paid during retirement. Some might end up in unemployment also (Krizan, 2010). All these issues are the result of greed and it has become much more among multinational companies that earn large amounts towards profit. Leaders of most profitable firms are reluctant to accept innovative ideas given by employees that are of lower profile than them. Leaders are not interested to share profit or to work for market stability. Such issues have caused bail out in United States. Such unethical practices can lead to financial disaster in future (Shane, 2008).
Legal and ethical implications: example number 1.
Though technology has advanced very much and consumers have become educated it is not easy to convey matters easily. Even with such advanced technologies of communication intellectual rights remain as an area of mystery to most consumers and firms. One such issue is misunderstanding of HIPAA law. It is of fear of this that health care professionals do not use modern technologies of communication like email to communicate with their clients. Even if a client is interested to know more about his condition, it is not possible to get any update through email which is the most used and fasted medium of communication for many companies (Krizan, 2010).
Legal and ethical implications: example number 2.
Need of renewable energy has been known to automobile companies for years. They are also aware of the importance of hybrid cars. But they are not ready to invest for such innovative ideas as it will cost much more than today’s investment. This is because they are ethically weak and is not concerned about the future of world. Solar energy is known as a good source of energy to run vehicles, but very less investment is made by companies in this regard. It can also be seen that out of greed some companies develop products that are not at all suitable for present market condition (Shane, 2008).
Legal and ethical implications: example number 3.
Another ethical and legal issue can be found from the part of government itself. Government is reluctant to spend for research and development of energy while it is spending large amount to develop weapons. Energy is the most important thing to be taken care of for we are running out of energy sources. Still it can be seen that neither the government nor the companies are taking least effort to save energy. Most of the large companies are concerned about profit only and least importance is given to environmental issues even in the wake of global warming and ozone depletion. Poverty is yet another issue that requires great attention. There are more legal and ethical issues as part of globalization today than any other concerns in the world (Krizan, 2010).
Development of new product is important for new and old companies alike. Most companies develop new products either to meet market demand or to gain new market. New companies are doing this to find a space in market while existing ones to keep their space intact. One of the most important aspects of product development is its launch. Without proper launch a product will not be successful. It is also necessary to make use of technology during development as well as during launching. Companies are more exposed and consumers are more educated in today’s society. So, legal and ethical issues are also to be taken care of by companies to gain loyalty of customers.
Anandan. (2009). Product Management, 2E. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
Kahn, K. B. (2006). New Product Forecasting: An Applied Approach. New York: M.E. Sharpe.
Kaynak, E. M. (2012). New Product Development: Successful Innovation in the Marketplace. New York: Routledge.
Krizan, A. C. (2010). Business Communication. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Kumar, S. P. (2005). New Product Development: An Empirical Approach to Study of the Effects of Innovation Strategy, Organization Learning and Market Conditions. USA: Springer.
Lodato, M. W. (2008). Management of New Product Launches and Other Marketing Projects. Indiana: AuthorHouse.
Rafinejad, D. (2007). Innovation, Product Development and Commercialization: Case Studies and Key Practices for Market Leadership. Florida: J. Ross Publishing.
Shane, S. A. (2008). Entrepreneurship: A Process Perspective. Mason: Cengage Learning.
Viale, J. D. (1998). New Product Introduction: A Systems, Technology, and Process Approach. Crisp Publ.