Marketing managers of high-tech products all agree that one of the essential qualities in their field is the ability to translate a new technology into a tangible response to a customer's need. This is the only way that a new technology can be sold on the market.
Every new technology must therefore be "transformed" into a product that corresponds to a need in order to determine the value in use and the utility value. One should note that a radical innovation frequently brings new level of functionality to the customer, which they may not figure out immediately .
For example, the electrochemical control of superconductivity—which is a technology—can have potential value for a customer because it responds to the need to measure magnetic fields or the need to detect magnetic aberrations using products such as the infrared adjustable detector.
Figure 5.2 The market breakdown approach.
In the same way, the use of barium ferrite for the magnetic recording of data instead of metal oxide—another technology—responds to the increasing need for information storage by users of microcomputers by incorporating this technology in the manufacturing of a new generation of diskettes. Another example is that of Casidiam , which is a new material that is harder than sapphire, but nevertheless very pliable; it is an excellent thermal insulator, but also a good conductor of heat. Further, Casidiam is impervious to hydrogen and chemically inert. All of these properties lead to Casidiam's various uses in electronics, mechanics, and the biomedical field. If a new technology and its applications can be linked together to satisfy a need, marketers can start considering all potential customers.
Brainstorming and creativity techniques are often useful during this phase because a new technology can respond to different needs for various customers . After a lot of thinking, ceramic fibers used by Bronzavia, a major European company, in the manufacturing of thermo-protected shields for the future European space shuttle Hermes have been adapted for the automotive industry to insulate turbo engines and catalytic pipes. Similarly, an underwater robot with an intelligent camera can be used for offshore oil drilling, as well as for the maintenance of cooling systems in nuclear power plants.
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Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.