Product concept

This activity involves transforming a list of ideas into potential product concepts. For a product idea to become a new product concept, Crawford and Di Benedetto (2014) argue that three inputs are required: form, technology and need.

An example to illustrate this point: a mobile phone handset manufacturer may uncover the idea for incorporating a digital music player into its current range of handsets. All the details for the product at this stage remain unclear (some known, others not). This is simply an idea or product concept. Once the concept starts to accumulate more information, the project team may be able to sketch out possible forms for it. A concept is the conjunction of all the essential characteristics of the product idea. This usually incorporates form, technology and need, but lacks detail.

  • Form: this is a physical thing to be created (in the case of service, the sequence of steps by which the service will be created). It may still be vague and not precisely defined. For example: via existing handset, with earphones, using a keypad.
  • Technology: in most cases, there is one clear technology that is at the base of innovation. For instance: digital mp3 file player; additional memory required.
  • Need: the benefits gained by the customer give the product value. For example: music via mobile phone handset.

Adapted from

Trott, P., 2008. Innovation management and new product development. Pearson education.

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