New Product Strategy

Effective product innovation is guided by a well-defined new-product strategy. The new-product strategy achieves four main goals: first, it gives direction to the new-product team tuvifocuses team effort-, .second, it helps to integrate functional or departmental efforts; third, where understood by the new-product team, it allows tasks to be delegated to team members, who can be left to operate independently; and fourth, the very act of producing and getting managers to agree on a strategy requires proactive, not reactive, management, which increases the likelihood of a more thorough search for innovation opportunities. For example, Bauseh & Lomb, the contact lens and [ens-care products maker, was on the verge of losing its market position in the late 1980s because its managers had concentrated for too long on product improvement. It almost missed new product opportunities like ex tended-wear contact lenses. Fortunately, managers reviewed their new-product strategy and spotted many more opportunities for innovation, which they eventually capitalized on.'

Successful innovative companies are placing more emphasis upon the use of definitive strategy statements or a product innovation charter (PIC). The PIC draws managers' attention to the reasons or rationale behind the firm's search for innovation opportunities, the product/market and technology to focus on, the miscel-Baeousgoo/s or objectives (market share, cash flow, profitability, etc.) to be achieved, and guidelines on the nature or level of innovativeness that will sell the new product.ft The charter spells out the priority that managers should place on developing breakthrough products, changing existing ones and imitating competitors' products.

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Corporate Domination Tactics

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