New product development (NPD) is a process of taking a product or service from conception to market. The process sets out a series of stages that new products typically go through, beginning with ideation and concept generation, and ending with the product's introduction to the market. Occasionally, some of the stages overlap or vary depending on the nature of the business.
Key stages in the process of new product or service development
The NPD process involves eight key stages:
1. Idea generation – brainstorming and coming up with innovative new ideas. See generating ideas for new products and services.
2. Idea evaluation - filtering out any ideas not worth taking forward. See screening new product or service idea.
3. Concept definition - considering specifications such as technical feasibility, product design and market potential. See researching new product and service ideas.
4. Strategic analysis - ensuring your ideas fit into your business' strategic plans and determining the demand, the costs and the profit margin.
5. Product development and testing - creating a prototype product or pilot service. See concept development and testing.
6. Market testing - modifying the product or service according to customer, manufacturer and support organisations' feedback. This involves deciding the best timing and process for piloting your new product or service. See how to test the market.
7. Commercialisation – determining the pricing for your product or service and finalising marketing plans. See pricing your proposed service or product.
8. Product launch – a detailed launch plan can help ensure a smooth introduction to market.
In most cases, a phased approach to the product development process will help you keep schedule, resources and costs under control.
Use our checklist to help you develop a product or service or, for more information on managing projects, see how to manage your research, design and development.
You can also use our free tool to help you get R&D ready.
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