Chapter 9 describes the product life cycle. Let’s examine the evolution of the electric car product-market. This market has been slow to take off. Did you know the first electric cars were produced more than 100 years ago? Learn more in “ The fascinating evolution of the electric car ,” (Business Insider February 15, 2017), which describes the various efforts over the last century to develop an electric vehicle. These days the electric car market is changing more quickly thanks in large part to Tesla, an outsider. This new competitor has motivated traditional automakers to put more resources behind electric cars. We are already seeing lower cost [Continue Reading …]
This article in Wired magazine highlights “ The Most Innovative Objects of 2016 (That You’ll Actually Want to Use) ” (December 28, 2016). Look through and read this list of innovative new products. In the “New-Product Planning,” section of chapter 9, we define three categories of new products: continuous innovations, dynamically continuous innovations, and discontinuous innovations. Categorize each of the “Most Innovative Products” in the Wired article using one of these three categories. If necessary, click through to learn more about each. Explain the logic for your classification of each.
More consumer products companies are turning to direct channels of distribution. When Nike’s new (self-lacing) HyperAdapt sneakers were only available through direct channels at launch. Chapter 10 discusses some of the logic for choosing direct and indirect channels. As you read this article, “ Nike’s HyperAdapt DTC Sales Part of Rising ‘See Now, Buy Now’ Trend ” (brandchannel, December 5, 2016) consider the logic for Nike and other brands discussed. The video below features an interview with some of the innovators behind the Nike HyperAdapt auto-lacing shoes. Why did Nike sell HyperAdapt through direct channels of distribution? Do you think this is a good idea or not? Why or why not?
The chapter-opening case for Bonus Chapter 2 focuses on the cross-functional relationships at IKEA. The case demonstrates how the global retailer’s functional areas (finance, production/operations, accounting, information systems and human resources) interact with marketing to increase its effectiveness. Cross-functional coordination may be most important in IKEA’s new-product development. This Wired article “ Behind the scenes at Ikea’s top-secret furniture lab ” (September 24, 2015) provides a great look into innovation and new-product development at IKEA. From the article, explain three examples that show how different functional areas of IKEA work with marketing to develop new products.
As you know from chapter 9, identifying and developing new-product ideas — and effective strategies to go with them — can be key to a firm’s success and survival. So what do you do if your main product is a sports drink first developed 50 years ago by a team of scientists at the University of Florida after a request from the football coach (the football team is nicknamed the Gators — hence the name Gatorade)? After years of focusing on new flavors and packaging, Gatorade is using technology to personalize its contribution to athletic performance. Read more about Gatorade’s “smart cap” [Continue Reading …]
This morning I listened to an interesting radio story about how video game makers use concepts from behavioral science to enhance games’ addictiveness (see “ This Is Your Brain on Candy Crush ,” NPR Morning Edition, October 9, 2014). Clearly the path to video game breakout rests in creating an addictive experience. It left me wondering about the ethics of creating addictive games. It certainly raises questions — especially when you hear how hard gaming companies work on this. So what do you think? Are these video game makers acting unethically? What should they do differently?
While there are many examples of breakthrough high-tech products, we (at least I) often forget the power of design with common everyday products. Take the bucket — Home Depot did. Apparently Home Depot looked to a design leader for inspiration, which you can read about in “ How Home Depot Copied Apple to Build and Ingenious Bucket ” (Wired, December 31, 2013). How has Home Depot added value to the bucket? How much additional value is provided? How much more would a consumer pay for this value?
Creativity and idea generation are some of our favorite topics at Learn the 4 Ps . Whether you need to come up with a new product idea, an advertisement, or an idea for that English essay, creatively generating a range of options is needed to identify breakthrough opportunities. The last couple of decades have seen a burgeoning of scientific research has been going on with respect to understanding creativity and idea generation. A Wall Street Journal multimedia package “ Tactics to Spark Creativity ” (April 2, 2013 non-subscribers might need to click here ) describes a few of the latest findings. I have embedded the WSJ video below, where you can see how some companies foster creativity in the workplace. [Continue Reading …]