New Product Development — Ideation

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes … but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust.


Referred to as the fuzzy front-end of innovation, ideation is regarded by many as the most challenging stage in the innovation process.

Ideation begins with insights. Insights yield ideas, and the flow of ideas is the creative force that drives innovation. Gleaned from the tension arising from unmet needs, insights inspire innovation not only in new product development, but in all elements of the marketing mix, and at all stages of the product life cycle.

The Ideation Process

In the context of brand management, an insight is a realization that may be channelled to strengthen and grow the brand. It essentially emerges from a penetrating understanding of consumers.

In order, therefore, to succeed in new product development, consumer goods companies need to remain connected with their consumers. Many of these organizations adopt a consumer engagement ideation programme for new product and strategy development. This cross-functional programme with participants from marketing, R&D, market research, trade marketing and sales, comprises a series of individual and team activities spread over four to six weeks, and culminating in an insight generation workshop. Typically, there are about 8 to 12 participants, each devoting about 7-to-14-man days engaged in the following activities:

(a)    Knowledge immersion

(b)    Consumer immersion

(c)     Insights generation

(d)    Ideas generation

The knowledge immersion and consumer immersion activities are undertaken individually by the participants in preparation for the workshops, where they engage within teams to generate insights and ideas.

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