Quelch and Klein (1996) note that the Internet can also be used to accelerate new product development since different product options can be tested online more rapidly as part of market research. Companies can use their own panels of consumers to test opinion more rapidly and often at lower costs than for traditional market research. In Chapter 1, Figure 1.7, we saw how the Dubit Informer is used by brands to research the opinions of the youth market.
Another aspect of the velocity of new product development is that the network effect of the Internet enables companies to form partnerships more readily to launch new products. The subsection on virtual organisations in the section on 'Place' below discusses this in a little more detail.
Using the science of social epidemics explains principles that underpin the rapid spread of ideas, products and behaviours through a population.
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