Creating Breakthrough Products


Here’s an interesting textbook from 2002 aimed at those tasked with coming up with new product ideas. The authors are professor of mechanical engineering and industrial design no less.

Their main thrust was that, to use their marketing-speak, i) form and function must fulfil fantasy, and ii) you must inhabit the “upper right” quadrant, where both Technology and Style are High (as opposed to Low) so that you can maximise Value.

When it comes to launch checklists, they have three fundamentals that underpin a truly breakthrough new product.

  1. they don’t just solve existing problems, they create possibilities for new experiences
  2. features and forms are quickly recognised as useful, usable & desirable
  3. they only come about from a truly integrated multi-disciplinary team (iNPD)

It’s their second point that intrigues me most from our Sales perspective. Particularly if you think your latest launched wonder is indeed, ‘breakthrough’.

Think about this trio of criteria.

What makes your new product useful? Why would it go farther and be genuinely desirable? And how truly usable is it?

Most importantly, not only should your prospect see these facets in a positive light, but they must also recognise them as such quickly.

How does your latest product match up, and how do you test to confirm that your prospects view your new offering favourably in this way?

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