When Nielsen analyzed over 3,400 new consumer product introductions launched in the U.S. market in 2012, it found just 14 managed to generate at least $50 million in sales in their first year and sustain that momentum into their second. Out of some 17,000 new products launched since 2008, just 62 of them have had that kind of success.
According to Taddy Hall, “Breakthrough Winners don’t rely on luck or genius. The hallmark of successful innovation is that they resolve struggles or fulfill aspirations; they perform jobs in consumers’ lives.”
With that in mind The Blake Project developed a unique workshop based approach to new product co-creation.
Business context: New product development is vital to maximizing brand value and building consistent market share. But it’s tough to do right. For every four new product ideas that enter development only one will succeed in the marketplace.
Success requirement: Framing new product opportunities and challenges around an insightful understanding of unmet consumer needs. The New Product Co-Creation Workshop provides a dynamic, real-time ‘framing’ where consumers visualize and articulate use, need, desire and core motivations.
What makes our process work where others fail? The Blake Project brings consumers into the ideation process and unites them with product designers, marketers, engineers and manufacturing experts. Through guided facilitation, in-person and in a unique workshop setting, we help consumers articulate the emotions, passions and real-life experiences that will define unmet needs and where new product opportunities have the greatest chance for success. Working with this shared vision, consumers and product experts co-create new product ideas based upon unmet consumer needs, manufacturing capabilities and brand fit.
The Blake Project’s New Product Co-Creation Process:
1. Pre-workshop planning. Goals and requirements are established, venues planned, participants defined and pre-workshop assignments and pre-reads are sent out.
2. Workshop goal setting. Conducted at the beginning of the workshop and immediately after the day’s agenda and objectives are reviewed, this step sets basic direction and boundaries for the entire development process.
3. Unmet needs visualization. This explorative process uses means-end values laddering, creative visualization, storytelling and facilitated discussions to explore the way consumers see their world and enable them to freely and fully articulate how they experience the current set of products and brands.
4. Idea co-creation and early-stage product design. Through guided facilitation and ideation exercises consumers and product team members work to discover new alternatives to product design that can address unmet needs, solve problems, create meaningful differentiation and enhance user experiences. An added advantage to having product experts in this session is that early-stage concept design can be envisioned, explored and refined.
5. Evaluation and prioritization for next steps. Here Ideas are evaluated and the most promising are selected for further development.
Key questions asked and answered:
- Does the idea fit with the brand’s strategy, mission, vision, values, purpose, essence and positioning?
- Will this new product provide a competitive advantage?
- Does the idea meet a consumer need and add real value?
- Does it provide a unique user benefit that will differentiate it?
- Can the product be easily copied? Is there patent protection or are there substitutes?
- Is the market opportunity an attractive one – size, growth rates, profitability, competition?
- Is there complexity in implementation?
- Is there a need to build or acquire new technology?
- Would the idea meet minimum return on capital or profit margin requirements?
- Can the product be sold through existing sales and distribution channels?
Who to include: It’s important to include a mix of consumers who are appropriate targets for the product category as well as those who screen well for being both articulate and creative. Brand participants should include a mix from different disciplines including product design and development, manufacturing and brand management. 6-12 consumers and 6-12 product development experts should be included.
Time requirement: 2-3 weeks of preparation for The Blake Project and a 1-2 day Workshop.
Outcomes and deliverables: Clarity and confidence that the ideas generated will provide the strongest potential to meet unmet user needs and build brand value.
The Blake Project is a leading brand consultancy with a history of helping brands overcome high-stakes marketing challenges, create new value and build an advantage in the minds of those most important to your brands future. New Product Co-Creation is a core competency.
Please email me, Derrick Daye for more about how the New Product Co-Creation Workshop can help you build an advantage.