NPD Strategies: Competitive environment

July 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

For some year’s now, Marketing is evolving into a serious business. And I’m not talking about marketing within a business (that’s very serious) but marketing as a subject. It is incredible how many theories and systems have proliferated in the past couple of years to explain certain consumer behaviors and try to predict them in the future. We are watching the creation of marketing guru’s all over the place. People with little or lots of experience competing to be the “cleverest” in any given subject.

This post started with the above paragraph because while in a recruitment process I was asked to describe my experience within the 5 p’s of marketing framework (you know, the 4 original p’s of marketing + People), but as I was answering the questions I contained myself from asking about the 2 more recent p’s (now including Packaging and Positioning, or is it Processes and Physical Evidence? Too many authors).

This post is not about defining the p’s or explaining them, if you want to read more about the p’s please do so by clicking one of the links  at the bottom of the page, this article tries to explain how to use them.

So, should you use 4 p’s, 5 p’s, 7 p’s, 5 c’s or even 5 forces??

You see what I mean?

Every author wants to stand out of the crowd with a new, clever equation… but will marketers use it??

 Some readers will feel a little disappointed, some other will relate to story, but I can’t help but say that I have only used this sort of analysis 1) when entering a new category, 2) when planning the launch of an NPD or 3) to answer a teacher’s assignment.

Let’s be clear with this, it is very likely that if you switch categories a long time has passed since you last used it, hence, the last you heard about p’s and c’s will be updated and you have to rethink everything through.  Teacher’s assignments are just that, “theoretical use of a model in a particular circumstance” that should be answer according to the teacher’s own reaction. But if you have the luck to plan an NPD, you will have to be prepared to answer some difficult questions from senior managers (especially in big FMCG corporations). And this means, several styles, several models, one answer (go or no go?).

If you need to develop a new product, whether breakthrough innovation or simply a line extension of current leading products, you have to place your product in a competitive scenario that allows you to prepare for the battles to come. This competitive scenario cannot be answered by a single model, but by the combination of several factors that will enable you to act, react, and conquer the new market.

My recommendation is that you mix all theories, develop a sense of competitive battlefield and try to answer as many difficult questions as you can prior to proposing a new launch.

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