Product development is the creation of new products or services, and the improvement of existing products or services. The process should result in products or services that people want to use or buy at a price that is financially desirable for the organization. The process that the organization goes through to develop ideas, determine which ideas are worthy of pursuing, develop the product or service, and introduce it to the market is the Product Development Process.
Product development is important to most organizations, regardless of whether they offer physical products or services. Getting these products to the market quickly, at a cost that is financially acceptable to the organization, with its quality and characteristics fine-tuned to market needs and in a way that does not damage the existing organization’s brand, requires sensitive management of complex processes.
Social media is having a profound impact on product development and design, and it offers the potential to significantly improve organizational performance across the range of product development performance factors.
Growing up in Toronto, Ontario I thought taxis/cabs were just for people to go from an origin to a certain destination because they did not have a car, or needed a ride from/to the airport because they had to leave their car behind. I grew up in a household watching my grandpa make a living by driving a taxi where people would need rides to the airport, or a ride to the grocery store. Considering the 1990’s there were not a lot of taxi companies that operated in the city, however there were a few main ones that majority of people knew of. Moving forward into the 21st century, the taxi industry revolutionized with Uber bringing in a modern yet exceptional product development and design to the fore front of society which conveyed many benefits to all people of society. The success of their product development and design comes from the use of 3 product development factors which consist of speed, cost, and brand impact.
Are you struggling to take off your sports bra? Spilling out of the sides of your bra? Looking for leakproof underwear? If you’re a woman reading this, you most likely are nodding your head in agreement to at least one of these statements. These are the struggles many women are dealing with and the Toronto based company Knixwear, is listening. Knixwear, is reinventing intimates and proudly putting its customers at the centre of their company. Founder and CEO, Joanna Griffins, started the company by listening to a need many women have and created a solution that was missing from the market.
luxe.zen selects quality gemstones, wood and other naturally derived materials to handcraft beautiful jewellery pieces. The goal of these pieces is to enhance a holistic lifestyle integrated with wellness, meditation or spiritual practice. luxe.zen got its start in March 2016 when its principal designer began creating jewellery pieces for herself during an illness. She uses aromatherapy principles and selects gemstones with intention to amplify healing. At the same time, she realized this would empower others with the same goals. When it comes to product development, social media is key for luxe.zen. Watching other designers for trends can get overwhelming, as this market is competitive, so luxe.zen keeps grounded by focusing on its own customers. luxe.zen has a high rating on Etsy with over 15% of its customers leaving reviews. And every customer’s feedback is important in the product development lifecycle; it can be one of the richest sources for new product development ideas.
A few years ago, I heard about a company called Farm Bound that was delivering fresh organic produce once a week on Fridays to a retailer here in Fort St. John, BC for same day pick up. I inquired and a few of my co-workers were using the service and were extremely pleased. The cost of living is much higher in Fort St. John and the access to fresh organic produce was limited. If you purchased cucumber on Sunday for Greek salad on Wednesday chances were the cucumber was spoiled before you could use it. It was disturbing to waste so much food so I learned to buy the day I was going to make Greek salad. Fresh only means “Fresh” to the store not the freshness of the produce that was on a truck for a couple of weeks. The initial offerings from Farm Bound were organic produce however the selection of organic offerings have improved greatly and it is extremely worth the purchase. How did they get this way you ask? Well, a lot of it has to do with listening to their customers about the products and service they wish to receive. The other aspect has to do with service development and the speed, cost, quality and brand impact.
This week, I started my research by Googling “what percentage of new products fail”. The featured snippets in search showed 80%. In other words, if you launch a new product, it will most likely fail. Some flops are now part of pop culture (Crystal Pepsi), some were just too “avant garde” (McDonald’s Arch Deluxe), others were painfully annoying (Windows Vista), and others just plain out dangerous (Samsung’s Galaxy s7). As it turns out, lack of preparation, speedy research & development to launch early and even sabotage from a competitor are all factors that contributes to most products failures. Good market research has always been a way to help with the preparation of a successful product launch. Nowadays, social media can replace old school focus groups in most companies and reduce the number of missed product launch, turn around quickly to avoid a disaster – or become Internet famous for the wrong reason.
DeLaval is the worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, ensuring milk quality and animal health. DeLaval was found more than 130 years ago in Sweden. Today DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 countries. DeLaval sells alot of milking equipment including but not limited too, the VMS; voluntary milking systems robot, rotaries, parlours, milk meters to name a few. In the ever changing dairy industry its important to stay up to date with the last innovations and keep the customers engaged and intrigued with what you have to offer them. When purchasing a new barn or milking system it is a huge investment that is not made over night and customers want to make sure they are getting the best of the best for their cows.
The times, they are a changin’….a notion famously expressed by Bob Dylan some 50 odd years ago, and one that can be applied to organizations’ and their product development practices as a result of social media. In recent years, technological advancements have changed the socio-economic landscapes for organizations, and have created an ever competitive and complex market. Social media is playing a pivotal role, with an unprecedented rate of adoption that surpasses conventional tools such as the radio, telephone, television etc. Companies across all industries are having to use social media in product development in order to stay current on fine-tuned market needs and trends. Social media offers the potential to significantly improve a business’s performance. It is being used by companies to not only communicate to their customers, but also to learn about their customers, in hopes of advancing product development.
J. Darius Bikoff was brilliant. He was a random guy in New York City, who enjoyed being active and one day combining water and some vitamic C gave him what would turn out to be a brilliant idea, Vitamin Water! Vitamin water is now sold under the glacéau vitaminwater® mostly known as Vitamin Water. It is sold in over 20 countries and new products and flavours are developed often.
Reworked by Regis is a custom home decor and refurbishment artisan based out of Edmonton, AB. Regis Mahoney, the artist behind Reworked by Regis, takes discarded furniture and restores, redesigns, and rehomes it. Customers can commission custom projects through Regis, or can purchase items she has already made at local markets or through Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy.
The adage “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” isn’t always necessarily true with respect to a company’s product development/design. Sometimes, it can be “what’s on the outside” (the packaging) that really “counts” when it comes to a consumer choosing which brand to buy. One company that proves looks really DO matter is Orbit, the makers of a sugar-free chewing gum. Through their Spotlight Series Campaign, customers were invited to submit their own original designs for packaging of the brand. Moreover, this campaign is not the only time the company has stressed the importance of “stylish” brand packaging. In fact, it is a key aspect of Orbit’s product development. Take this Orbit gum commercial as an example.
When you think about organizations using social media to enhance their product development, what immediately pops to mind? For many of us, it’s Lay’s Potato Chips. Lay’s (and parent co PepsiCo) have run a series of campaigns (Do Us A Flavor, Pick A Flavor, Flavor Swap) where chip enthusiasts from around the world are encouraged to suggest the next great chip flavour. And with great incentive – the innovator behind the winning flavour receives either $1,000,000 or 1% of sales, whichever is greater! Millions of flavour suggestions have been collected, from confetti cake batter, to turkey club, to french onion soup. Essentially, once suggestions are collected, flavour finalists are developed, promoted and sold in stores, and again the public is asked to weigh in and choose the winner. While Lay’s has produced and distributed over 20 “crowdsourced” flavours to date, including Mango Salsa, Fried Green Tomato, and Korean Barbecue, the winning flavours have included: Cheesy Garlic Bread Wasabi Ginger Southern Biscuits and Gravy Crispy Taco
Airbnb is a US based company that operates an online marketplace that allows people to lease or rent short term lodging place at an affordable price. The dwellings range from holiday cottages, hotel rooms and hostel beds to home stays and apartments. The company doesn’t own any real estate, rather it earns by charging a service fee in return for providing this online platform where customers can connect with the hosts. The company has nearly 5 million lodging listings in 81,000 cities and 191+ countries and has 300 million+ guest arrivals at all time. Airbnb had a difficult end to year 2013 because of a trademark infringement lawsuit from a competitor. However, they came back with another marketing campaign that embedded the concept of user generated content within a contest to create excitement about the brand.
Today people use social media to interact with one another regardless of geographic boundaries, easily sharing information, discussing common interest, collaborating on ideas, and building a network of relationships. Consumer are also using their social networks to seek advice, discuss and offer recommendations on products and services. Companies who are engaging in social media strategies aimed at facilitating engagement and two-way conversations (crowdsourcing) with customers provide insight that can and does impact product design, development and even the production of goods and services. This ability to gain product feedback in a relatively inexpensive way is quickly becoming one of social media’s biggest benefits. Monitoring social networks is a good first step to using social media in product development. Product designers and managers can not only learn what customers like an don’t like about their products but can also get ideas on improvements as well as what new features and functions might appeal to consumers in the future. A company that is not only using the wisdom of social listening for product development but was also built on crowdsourcing is Sundial Brands. Sundial Brands learned early on that listening and acting upon what was said was one of the clearest ways to show that the brand cared. The Sundial Brand Story Born in Liberia, Sundial Brands CEO Richelieu Dennis came to the United States to attend renowned business school Babson College. Driven by his passion for entrepreneurship and sustained by a vision to fill unmet consumer needs, Richelieu partnered with his best friend and college roommate, Nyema Tubman, to pursue a bold concept: address skin and hair care issues traditionally ignored by mass market companies. Drawing from deep traditions born out of his family’s roots in Africa and passed down to him from his grandmother, Richelieu incorporated four generations of recipes, wisdom and cultural experiences into natural bath and body care products, co-founding Sundial with his mother – Mary Dennis – and Nyema. Sundial remains true to the deep family legacy and inspiration of Richelieu’s grandmother, Sofi Tucker. Building upon her foundation, Sundial’s products are inclusive, serving all people to address underserved issues such as hyperpigmentation, dark spots and the special needs of textured hair, as well as consumer demands for efficacious natural products.
LoKoL Klothing is a Canadian lifestyle clothing brand designed specifically with the customer in mind. Designed in Canada, they offer stylish and fashion forward designs, to retro classics. In true Canadian style the brand is inspired to connect and celebrate individual communities. They understand that everyone is proud of their “LoKoL”. LoKoL supports a wide variety of clients and sponsors athletes, musicians and community events/charities.
The mining industry as a whole has sometimes found itself behind the technology wave. Each mine brings it’s own unique situations and the company’s personnel associated with those mines may not have the best knowledge or experience for a particular problem. Enter “#DisruptMining 2018”, https://www.disruptmining.com Launched last year, the #DisruptMining Challenge spurs collaboration between innovators industry-wide and encourages ideas that accelerate solutions to some of the biggest challenges in mining. Promoted through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the event has become a quick success.
On April 14th, 1999 a new TV show started in Great Britain with the naughty title „The Naked Chef “. No, it was not what you might think it was, it was a serious cooking show and the only one naked were the vegetables. The show probably needed a strong title like that, because no one on the planet was interested in British cooking, except – of course British Folks. The Star of the show was 24-year-old James (Jamie) Trevor Oliver, who was until then unknown to the world. Due to his fun and rustic presentations that made cooking look easy and simple, he became an overnight celebrity chef. Suddenly a door opened to British cuisine – and mint sauce and kidney pudding didn’t seem quite so gross anymore. Jamie Oliver’s TV appearances and fame grew and slowly transformed the cute cook to the wealthiest chef in the industry. Now, 18 years later, he has built himself quite an empire. Jamie Oliver Holdings Ltd., incorporated in 2002, owns over 60 restaurants, a Pizzeria franchise, a TV production company, an event catering business, an online cookware store, a cooking school, and has published 23 cookbooks with a total sale of 30 million. Not bad for a guy who started his career in his parent’s village pub! But what is it that makes the brand so successful? Well, there is of course Jamie himself. Cuddly, mischievous, cute, hyper – these are just some of the words people use to describe him. He certainly is unique, and so is his cooking style. His secret? Simplicity and fresh ingredients. One of his most watched videos on YouTube is “How To Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs – 3 ways”. You would assume everybody knows how to beat an egg and cook it, but no, apparently not. 9.2 million viewers have needed to find out so far.
When it comes to brand recognition, few brands would be lucky to consider themselves within the same class as Porsche. Long synonymous with prestige, the luxury car maker could easily rest on their rich history and not invest in future recognition. But they know that staying within the cultural conversation and maintaining that reputation are vital to their future, and one way they’ve invested in that future is a top-shelf social media strategy.
Whether you feel the draw of healing products or the distinct feeling of energy when encountering healing stones there is no denying that there is a market for these products. Has this product and belief exploded in the last number of years? Has the power and feeling of stress and anxiety from a world that goes 200 kms an hour caused people to stop and explore other ways to find peace within themselves? Yes it has! Society as a whole has become so unconnected and connected since ironically, social media has taken over our lives. Mentally and spiritually people are realizing that you have to take a step back and find peace within ourselves to be able to continue on with our crazy busy lives.
We live in world where Instagram marketing is more alive than ever! More and more A, B,C List celebrities are promoting and trying to sell products such as Detox teas and so on. We don’t know if these celebrities are being paid for these products, and usually when a celebrity is being paid to use their platform to promote a product, they’re supposed to tag the post #ad or #spon in some way indicate that a transaction has taken place
Media. Monitoring. No one understands the utility of social media in the development of products better than than those in the thick of the media monitoring industry, the champions of multiple products which, like digital butterfly nets, capture curated data from the far corners of the online world, with the aims to organize, analyze, and report on that data in an impactful way. In effect, social media research in this industry IS the product. In Canada, a competitive set of top industry players, such as Cision Canada, have made the monitoring, organizing, and analysis of traditional and social data their full-time business by developing digital media monitoring/analysis platforms and bringing them to market. And, given the nearly daily shifts in digital technologies and modes of communication, pushing out new user-friendly, contemporary communications products for clients (mostly those in PR, marketing, advertising, and communications across an expansive list of industries), and meeting the demands of the market in a timely and effective way, are vital in staying relevant to the needs of the communications and PR professionals who’s primary need is to keep their fingers on the pulse.
From minor alterations, to complete start-to-finish designs, as many as 30% of online shoppers see value in being able to customize products to their liking (Bain Insights, 2013). Co-creation is not a new concept, but with the growth of social media platforms, companies are now more connected than ever to their customers.
Xero is beautiful accounting software. Founded in 2006 by Rod Drury, Xero is a leading international cloud based accounting software company focused on the needs of small businesses. “It always upset me that big, financial software was so hard to actually extract information from,” he said. “We began to see what was happening in the consumer web—that you could start to build these really neat, engaging web applications and not have to install software. Yet we weren’t seeing that innovation happen in small business. So to me, there was a very obvious opportunity.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “How Rod Drury Built Xero From A ‘Small Set Of Rocks In The South Pacific’ Into A Global Player” With a passion for accounting and technology, what product could be developed to help small business owners with accounting? In order to answer this question, according to an article on forbes.com, Drury followed a few hundred small business owners around. “We realized they would all kind of do the same thing: go to the office in the morning and click on the Windows XP computer,” he said. “They knew it would take five minutes to boot up, so they go and pour themselves a coffee. Then they’d get back to their desk, start drinking coffee, read the sports scores, and the first business thing they did in the morning was to go to the Internet banking. And we asked, ‘Well, why do you do that?’ Because they wanna see who paid them overnight so they could see what cash they had and what bills they can pay. And cash is the lifeblood of small business.” Rod Drury, Founder & CEO at Xero, quoted in “How Rod Drury Built Xero From A ‘Small Set Of Rocks In The South Pacific’ Into A Global Player”
Traditional marketing has given way to a new era of digital marketing where social media and customer input are king. Gone are the days of sending direct mail pieces and emails to massive lists of customers and crossing your fingers that you hear back from at least a few of them. Now, with the help of social platforms like Influitive, creating partnerships and relationships with customers is not only possible, but is actually the key to building new campaigns, content and product development.
Ice cream is a perennial favourite dessert or sneaky late night treat for most of us. Four All Ice Cream in Kitchener, Ontario, has taken the universal appeal of ice cream to heart. When Ajoa Mintah decided to pursue her dream of starting an ice cream company, she did this with an awareness of the importance of community. Four All is committed to using locally sourced ingredients which keeps Four All inextricably connected to local farmers and producers. This sense of connectivity plays out in the categories of frozen treats that they produce because there is something for everyone: Childhood, Vegan, Foodie (creative flavours), and Classic.
Founded in 2016, CharterClick is a young startup based in United Arab Emirates, envisioned by its creators as a universal platform for yacht cruise rental. CharterClick is an online booking service that lets you book yachts, speedboats, and fishing trips all under one site. The main feature of the system is that it works in real time – something that no vessel aggregator has done before. CharterClick first approached Eminence in December 2016 wanting advice on their social media strategy, finding that their main challenge was targeting the right people. Their main objective was to grow their social presence online and generate sales through social media. CharterClick knew they wanted to target a wide range of both locals, tourists and expats from around the world, starting with Dubai expats. The challenges: Attracting more people to click through to the website to book a Charter Generate Awareness of CharterClick online Prove digital marketing is effective Directly targeting the right people Eminence began looking at a strategy for their social media channels by analyzing the behaviour of the target market and the direct competitors. With yacht rental being a highly competitive business in the UAE, however none of these companies had an easy to use website, that allows yachts to be instantly booked without calling the company itself. Eminence found out that the target would be interested in a variety of charters, and a content plan would need to be put in place in order to generate results from the right target audience. CharterClick was provided with a comprehensive social media strategy for their marketing team to follow. Eminence sourced a range of local influencers who were managed, and selected through their followers based on the needs of CharterClick. These influencers posted and wrote about their experience, producing remarkable results. The efforts were focused on the timings, days, and different types of campaigns that generated engagement from new and existing followers to both CharterClicks Facebook, and Instagram.