Introduction:
This section summarizes information about a sample of tools and frameworks useful for concept development. A brief summary of each is offered here. Copies of articles and chapters from books are linked on the project website. Copies of referenced books are on reserve in the FSB Library. Given the number of groups potentially interested in using it, loan periods will be restricted to six hours. Feel free to scout out other tools and frameworks that might be helpful.


New Product Learning Across Firms

Summary:  
This entertaining review examines product innovations and tries to understand the consumer and competitor reasons for their failure and success. 

Source/Link: 
McMath, R.M. and T. Forbes, What Were They Thinking?  Marketing Lessons I’ve Learned From Over 80,000 New Product Innovations and Idiocies, New York:  Random House.  (A copy of this book is on reserve in the FSB Library.  Given the number of groups potentially interested in using it, loan periods will be restricted to six hours).

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Idea Generation at IDEO

Summary: 
A video describing the activities of IDEO – a Palo Alto firm that has expertise in idea generation, product design, and concept development.  The video was first aired on Nightline several years ago.

Source/Link: 
Video of the Deep Dive

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Idea-Generating Techniques


Summary: 

  1. Attribute Listing
  2. Forced Relationships
  3. Morphological Analysis (see also Tauber, Edward (1972), “HIT:  Heuristic Ideation Technique Journal of Marketing, 58-70.
  4. Need/Problem Identification (see also Tauber, Edward (1975), “Discovering New Product Opportunities with Problem Inventory Analysis Journal of Marketing, 67-70).
  5. Brainstorming (see also Osborn, Alex (1963), Applied Imagination, pp:  67-82, 120-140.
Source/Link:  Kotler (1994), Marketing Management, 8th edition, Prentice Hall, 324-326.

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Synectics


Summary: 
Synectics is a group problem-solving technique.  It is designed to exploit the diverse resources of groups and is used in situations where a single individual cannot solve a certain problem or he/she is likely to do a less than satisfactory job compared to that of a competent group.  Synectics focuses on creative problem-solving and not routine problem solving.  The technique presumes that problem solvers have both right and left brain abilities and that the extent to which these are used is a function of the environment.  Five principles/tools guide synectics: 

  1. Deferment (look first for viewpoint rather than solution
  2. Autonomy of object (let the problem take on a life of its own)
  3. Use of the commonplace (take advantage of the familiar as a springboard to the strange)
  4. Involvement/detachment (alternate between entering into the particulars of the problem and standing back from them, in order to see them as instances of a universal)
  5. Use of metaphor (let apparently irrelevant, accidental things suggest analogies that are source of new viewpoints.
Source/Link:  Gordon, W. J. J. (1961). Synectics: The Development of Creative Capacity, New York: Harper and Row, pp 3-7 and 33-56.

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Searching Internally


Summary: 
Internal search is the use of individual and team knowledge and creativity to general solution concepts.  It can involve: 

  1. Suspending judgment
  2. Generating a lot of ideas
  3. Welcoming ideas that may seem infeasible
  4. Using graphical and physical media
  5. Making analogies
  6. Wishing and wondering
  7. Using related stimuli
  8. Using unrelated stimuli
  9. Setting quantitative goals
  10. Using the gallery method
Source/Link:  Ulrich and Eppinger (2000) Product Design and Development, pp 199-121.

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Searching Externally


Summary: 
External search is aimed at finding existing solutions to concept development.  It involves: 

  1. Interviewing Lead Users
  2. Consulting Experts
  3. Searching Patents (see www.ulrich-eppinger.net for a current list of on-line patent databases and suppliers of patent documents)
  4. Searching the Published Literature
  5. Benchmarking Related Product
Source/Link:  Ulrich and Eppinger (2000) Product Design and Development, pp 115-118.

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Lead Users

Summary:
 Accurate marketing research depends on accurate research user judgment regarding their needs. However, for very novel products or in product categories characterized by rapid change - such as "high-technology" products - most potential users will not have the real experience needed to problem solve and provide accurate data to inquiring market researchers. This researcg deals with Lead Users - users whose present strong needs will become general in a marketplace months or years in the future. Since lead users are familiar with conditions which lie in the future for most others, they can serve as a need forecasting laboratory for marketing research. Moreover, since lead users often attempt to fill the need they experience, they can provide new product concept and design data as well.


Sources/Links:

von Hippel, Eric (1988), The Sources of Innovation, pp 11-27 and 102-116.

von Hippel, Eric (1986), “Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product ConceptsManagement Science, 32(7), 791-805. 

Urban, Glen L. and Eric von Hippel (1988), "Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products," Management Science, 34 (May), 569-82.

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Marketspace Innovation Model


Summary: 
This article provides six approaches for thinking through the process of creating market-based innovation:

  1. Look for innovation across substitute industries
  2. Look for innovation across strategic groups within an industry 
  3. Look for innovation across the chain of buyers 
  4. Look for innovation across complementary products and services
  5. Look for innovation across functional or emotional appeal to buyers
  6. Look for innovation across time to trends that are taking hold. 
Source/Link:  Kim, W. Chan and Renee Mauborgne (1999), “Creating New Market SpaceHarvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, 83-93. (This article is in your coursepack but can also be found here)

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Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique


Summary:  
Although improvements in traditional quantitative and qualitative research techniques have enhanced their to collect timely, valid and reliable data, and to analyze these data with greater insights, advertising practitioners continue to search for and experiment with alternative methodologies. Seven basic premises for improving advertising research and company development are presented, and the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) is introduced. ZMET is designed to surface the mental models that drive consumer thinking and behavior, and characterize these models in actionable ways using consumers' metaphors. These mental models reveal basic reasoning processes and provide useful insights about consumers and their latent and emerging needs. Such insights can provide developers of advertising copy and creative staff guidance for capturing consumer attention and engaging consumer thought processes. It is suggested that ZMET is a promising means for improving advertising research.


Source/Link: 
Zaltman, Gerald and Robin Higie Coulter (1995), “Seeing the Voice of the Customer: Metaphor-based Advertising ResearchJournal of Advertising Research, New York; 35 (Jul/Aug), 35-51.

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Empathic Design
Summary: 

Two things distinguish empathic design research techniques from those used in traditional market research: (1) they are based around observation (watching consumers) rather than inquiry (asking consumers) and (2) unlike traditional lab based usability testing (which typically involves observing consumers using a product in a laboratory), empathic design research is conducted in the environment where the consumers would commonly use the product. Empathic design is not a substitute for traditional research, but it can yield the following five types of information that are not ordinarily revealed by traditional techniques:

  1. Triggers of use: What circumstances cause people to use a product?
  2. Interactions with the users' environment: How does the product fit with users' idiosyncratic environments and habits?
  3. User customization: Do users redesign the product to fit their needs? If so, how?
  4. Intangible product attributes: Intangible attributes may be important in creating an emotional franchise with the consumer.
  5. Unarticulated user needs: Observation can discover unarticulated user needs that can be easily fulfilled.
Source/Link:  Leonard, Dorothy and Jeffrey Rayport (1997), “Spark Innovation Through Empathic DesignHarvard Business Review, (Nov-Dec), 102-113

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Visual Mental Imagery

Summary:  
This technique focuses on how designers' use of a specific cognitive process, visual mental imagery, can influence the customer appeal of a design. A conceptual framework for examining how visual imagery might influence the customer appeal of a design output is presented. This is followed by 2 experiments that test the hypotheses that flow from the proposed model. The experiments manipulate the type of visual imagery used and the incorporation of the customer in the imagery invoked and then examine its effects on the usefulness, originality and customer appeal of the resulting design. Consistent with the framework and the proposed hypotheses, the findings show that including the customer in imagination visual imagery during the design process has a greater effect on the usefulness of the design produced than including the customer in memory visual imagery.

Source/Link: 
Darren W Dahl, Amitava Chattopadhyay, and Gerald J. Gorn (1999), “The Use of Visual Mental Imagery in New Product DesignJournal of Marketing Research, 36 (Feb), 18-28.

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Inventive Templates for New Products

Summary: 
New product ideation might be improved by identifying and applying certain well-defined schemes derived from an historical analysis of product-based trends, termed "templates." These templates might contribute to the understanding and prediction of new product emergence.  Templates are derived in a study that maps the evolution of product changes by adapting a set of intrinsic operations originally designed to uncover hidden logical patterns in technological inventions. They find that the majority of new product versions can be accounted for by as few as 5 templates. A procedure for using the dominant template, termed "Attribute Dependency," is outlined, followed by a report of 2 experiments examining its usefulness in the context of product ideation.


Sources/Links: 

Goldenberg, Jacob, David Mazursky, Sorin Solomon (1999), “Toward identifying the inventive templates of new products: A channeled ideation approachJournal of Marketing Research 36 (May), 200-210.

Goldenberg, Jacob, David Mazursky, Sorin Solomon (1999), “Creative SparksScience, 285 (September), 1495-1496.

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The Impact of Consumer Knowledge on Product Concepts & Innovations 

Summary: 
This literature examines how consumer knowledge influences the comprehension and acceptance of new products.  You are likely to find the introduction, conceptual development, and discussions the most helpful parts of these papers. 


Sources/Links:
Moreau, C. Page, Arthur B. Markman, Donald R. Lehmann, (2001), “’What is It?’ Categorization Flexibility and Consumers’ Responses to Really New ProductsJournal of Consumer Research, 27 (March), 489-498.

Moreau, C. Page, Donald R. Lehmann, and Arthur B. Markman (2001), “Entrenched Knowledge Structures and Consumer Response to New ProductsJournal of Marketing Research, 38 (February), 14-29.

Veryzer, Robert W. Jr. and J. Wesley Hutchinson (1998), “The Influence of Unity and Prototypicality on Aesthetic Responses to New Product DesignsJournal of Consumer Research, 24 (March), 374-394. 

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The House of Quality

Summary: 
Manufacturing companies striving to compete on quality must design products that not only are technically elegant and manufacturable but also reflect customers' desires and tastes. For optimal results, marketers, designers, engineers, and strategists should work closely together from product conception to end result. A Japanese innovation, the house of quality, can help get interfunctional-team conversations started. The house is a conceptual map on which interdisciplinary teams can display and organize the evidence they need to set targets for design. Once all relevant facts are on the grid, the team makes its choices. The process has clarified opportunities, stimulated negotiation, and helped set an agenda. And the format is flexible. Once engineering targets have been set, the team can draw up new houses.

Source/Link: 
Hauser, John R. and Don Clausing (1988), “The House of QualityHarvard Business Review, (May-June), 63-73.

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Product Design and Engineering

Summary: 
These books examine some of the underlying design issues inherent in concept development


Sources/Links:
Bloch, Peter H. (1995), “Seeking the Ideal Form:  Product Design and Consumer ResponseJournal of Marketing, 59 (July), 16-29.

Petroski, Henry (1993), The Evolution of Useful Things:  How Everyday Artifacts – From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers – Came to Be as They Are, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, pp 220-236.

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Product Development (General)

Summary: 
These books, centers, and association contain information related to the strategy, organization, and processes involved in great product development


Sources/Links:
Clark, Kim B. and Takahiro Fujimoto (1991), Product Development Performance:  Strategy, Organization, and Management in the World Auto Industry, Boston, Harvard University Press, pp 17-34.

Wheelwright, Steven C. and Kim B. Clark (1992), Revolutionizing Product Development, New York: The Free Press, pp 28056.

Cooper, Robert G. (1999), “The Invisible Success Factors in Product InnovationJournal of Product Innovation Management, 16, 115-133.

Center for Innovation in Product Development (http://mit.edu/cipd)

Product Development and Management Association (http://www.pdma.org)

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