How to kill great new product ideas through diligent application of proven packaged goods techniques

My topic is the application of packaged goods techniques to new product development. Or, how not to kill great new product ideas. Those two sentences may indicate immediately that I’m not about to say that packaged goods techniques are the panacea--that they can be and should be applied to all problems. That has been said a lot recently. I will instead try to prove just the opposite--that in certain initial situations packaged goods techniques can actually kill really great new ideas.

The chart in figure 1 represents the classic packaged goods marketing approach to new product development--a step by step flowchart. At the Marschalk Advertising Agency our new product flowchart measures a full seven feet long when it’s opened.

This is an impressive chart, and I agree it’s a critical tool for new product development. I also know that in recent years, packaged goods techniques such as these have been applied to new product development in almost every category--from soap to fragrances. We all see the value in following the traditional packaged goods approach in certain marketing situations. But in many instances, the classical methodology to new product development is dead wrong.

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