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BOX 6-1

Sources of Product Ideas

Internal Sources

  • Business and marketing teams

  • Research and development teams

  • Sales personnel

  • Packaging teams

  • Regulatory affairs departments

External Sources

  • Competitors

  • Suppliers

  • Consumers

  • Retailers

SOURCES: Straus, 2009; Topp, 2007.

include the following (Heyhoe, 2002; Moskowitz et al., 2009; Straus, 2009):

  • How closely does the new product idea fit with the corporation’s strength in the market (i.e., does the company have closely related products that are successful)?

  • How technically feasible is the project?

  • How well can the product idea be protected from competition (i.e., can patents or commercial secrets ensure that competitors will be unable to easily copy the product)?

  • What capital expenditures will be needed?

  • What is the expected life of the product (1 year, 3–5 years, etc.)?

  • What is the spinoff potential of the product for line extensions and related products?

  • How well do consumers rate the product compared to products with known success?

Another consideration that has emerged with greater importance in recent years is determining what will influence a retailer to stock the product. Retailers are the first customers and their acceptance is needed (Topp, 2007) because their willingness to stock a new product will be a major factor in its success (van Boekel, 2009).

With the above questions in mind, business teams can estimate the costs of production and the potential profit the product might generate and then

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