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Marketing Behaviors - Challenges in New Product Development

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The approach to new product development and communication of the product can either be a proactive one or a reactive one (New, 2003). How a company chooses to handle the approach can be detrimental to the outcome of the success of the product and possibly the organization. The proactive approach involves for example evaluating opportunities, consumer needs, and the ability for the organization to financially be able to support the product or service. The reactive approach is a little less formalized and is based on quickly changing either due to a desire or competitive need to do so, or in response to a reaction requiring an organization to do so (New, 2003). This approach can result in less opportunity to think through or analyze something prior to making any decisions.

Marketing Behaviors


New product development is taking the opportunity to bring a new product, concept or service to the market place. This is completed through evaluating the needs and behaviors of the customer in relationship to the abilities of the organization. The goal of new product development is to get into the minds of the consumer, with a focus on the target audience and identifying what will benefit them. This is accomplished through positioning the product in a place that attracts the consumer to want to pursue the product for their own personal interest.

Challenges in new product development

Innovation is only one element in the global drive for keeping up with the competitive nature of today's marketplace. Businesses within America are striving to meet the pressures in meeting the global market demands in perfecting the processes of development and implementation. In order to effectively compete, challenges of companies include the need to step up in the areas of new product introduction, alignment with the changing market, and while considering all of this, reducing product cost.

Challenges: New Coke.

The day was April 23, 1985. This was the day when the Coca-Cola Company took what was considered to be the largest risk in consumer marketing history. Coca-Cola introduced a new product called the "new Coke", a reformulation of what was then being marked as "Coca-Cola". The goal of the Coca-Cola Company at that time was not create the chaos that followed the roll-out, but rather to reenergize the soft-drink industry as it was pretty stagnant at that time. After all, Coca-Cola had not been reformulated in 99 years and based on this consideration for a change was thought to be needed to get ahead (Coke, 2011). This experience was an eye opening one for Coca-Cola, beginning with the manner in which the new product was introduced all the way down to how the company quickly adapted to the consumer's reactions. The approach in the introduction to the consumer was as if the consideration for the consumer's preference had not even been taken into account. Coca-Cola wanted to "reshape" the soft-drink industry, without out even realizing that consumers were perfectly happy with what they already had (Coke, 2011).

The result of this marketing approach resulted in numerous complaints, frustrated consumers and a return of the original Coca-Cola on July 11, 1985; 79 days after the introduction of the "new Coke". Coca-Cola's approach to marketing and introducing the new product did not only fail to have their consumers wants in mind, but rather than providing options, or an alternative soft-drink option, it was taking away what consumers already viewed as meeting their needs to begin with. Through all of this what was provided to Coca-Cola was the huge consumer support and completely happy target audience that had already existed. This was a clearly evident example of an attempt to fix something that was never broken.

Challenges: Gap Logo

In October 2010, the clothing company GAP toyed with the emotions of their consumers; much like that of how Coca-Cola did with their consumers in 1985, by changing their logo on their website. This created havoc amongst consumers as the image known to them for over 20 years had now been modified without any prior acknowledgment of the intent to do so. The president of GAP indicated that the new logo was more contemporary and current with the market, while still giving honor to the old logo with existence of the blue box within the new logo. Although the new logo development was geared to meet the challenge of keeping up with the market place, it failed to gain or recognize the input of their consumers and what it meant to them. On October 11, 2010, only a few days since the release of the new logo, a press release was provided by Gap stating that as a result of the volume of feedback received that they were reverting back to the old logo. The press release indicated that "at GAP brand, our customers have always come first. We've been listening to and watching all of the comments this past week. We heard them say over and over again they are passionate about our blue box logo, and they want it back. So we've made the decision to do just that - we will bring it back across all channels." (Gap, 2011). The issue with this is that had the company first asked their consumers, listened to their consumers and then based on the analysis received took action; they could have prevented a costly mistake from occurring.

Challenges: Mountain Dew

In 2007, Mountain Dew rolled out DEWmocracy. This marketing strategy covered a consumer involvement approach to new product introduction into the market place, with a focus on keeping up on changing needs of the market, as well as minimizing the production cost on development of new products. DEWmocracy was an innovative approach to involving the consumer in the development of the new products. Consumers are able to provide suggestions on taste preferences, product name suggestions, packaging designs, as well as marketing approaches to roll out and promote the product (DEWmocracy, 2010).

Mountain Dew then takes this a step farther and uses this feedback to engage their consumers to vote on their product of choice which is then rolled in their ongoing product line. Mountain Dew will produce small supplies of select top choices so that consumers in the marketplace can try the product and then vote online for their preferred flavor of choice (DEWmocracy, 2010).. The ingeniousness behind this is that unlike the rollout of New Coke or logo change of GAP, Mountain Dew actively involved and continues to involve their customers in their product line development. The reception therefore by their consumers



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