What process should consumers play in the New Product Development process?

Jennifer M. and Anthony K. (2016) ‘Co-creation and the development of SME designer fashion enterprises’, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management,  20 (3), 322-338

 

This journal article investigates the concept of co-creation for the internationalization of small and medium enterprise (SME) designer brands. The qualitative research methodology was conducted by interviewing 38 participants from designer fashion enterprises (DFEs). The findings highlighting that co-creation is a process of presenting the ideas, interpreting experiences and reacting to learning that can help the brand to make product development and build up brand identity.

There is no doubt that nowadays consumers play an important role in product development. They are willing to provide ideas for products or services of the brands that can help brands to better understand customers’ need (Hoyer, 2010). O’Hern and Rindfleisch (2009) defined consumer co-creation as ‘‘a collaborative new product development (NPD) activity in which consumers actively contribute and select various elements of a new product offering’’ (2009). According to Hoyer (2010), the different stages of co-creation process including ideation, product development, commercialization, and post-launch. Merz et al. argued that consumers should involve in every stage of product development (Merz et al., 2009; Ind and Coates, 2013). While authors hold the view that access to consumer information is quite hard to those DFEs which are in early stage. Besides, the authors also mention that apart from consumers, stakeholders, buyers, editors are also vital to the co-creation process.

On one hand, too much reliance on the feedback of end users may ignore the business system of the brand (Frow and Payne, 2011). Besides, different feedbacks and expectation from varies sources may conflict to brand identity and core value. In terms of SME fashion brands, if the brands are consumer-lead, the brands may fail to achieve uniqueness and differentiation in the fashion industry.

On the other hand, consumers co-creation also has many advantages. For instances, Kristensson et al. (2004) found out that consumers can generate more valuable and innovative ideas in new product development than professional developers, while professional developers come up with simple and reliable ideas. In addition, consumer orientation has a positive influence on new product development (NPD), and it increased with the degree of product innovativeness (Salomo et al., 2003). The positive consumers co-creation can increase the efficiency of product productivity, reduce the risk of product failure and save the cost. (Hoyer, 2010)

From my perspectives, the benefit of consumer co-creation is overweighed than disadvantages. Consumers are vital in the process of NPD. The degree of consumer involvement in NPD needs to depend on the ability and extent of the firms to conduct consumer co-creation. While brand developers need to distinguish useful information from all the feedback by making wise decisions in NPD.

Such theory can be applied to our project of Beats fashion tech innovation. Consumer co-creation is an effective tool to measure the development of products. In this project, we plan to conduct a questionnaire at the beginning of market research, in order to understand the preference and interest of consumers toward music fashion-tech products. In this way, we can take the views of consumers into consideration so that can design the products that meet consumers’ need. After designing the collection, gathering the feedback also can help the brand to measure the products and make further development.

In addition, I have read another article that adopted Hoyer’s framework (see figure 1) that focuses on the degree of consumer co-creation in new product development (NPD) which is worth reading.

Figure 1. Conceptual framework of consumer Co-creation (Hoyer, 2010)

 

 

 

References:

Frow, P. and Payne, A. (2011) ‘A stakeholder perspective of the value proposition concept’, European Journal of Marketing, 45 (1/2) 223-240.

Hoyer, W. et al. (2010) ‘Consumer Co-creation in New Product Development’, Journal of Service Research, 13 (3), 283-296.

Jennifer R. et al. (2007) ‘Customer community and co‐creation: a case study’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 25 (2), 136-146,

Kristensson, P. et al. (2004), ‘Harnessing the creative potential among users’, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 21, 4-14.

Merz, M. (2009) ‘The evolving brand logic: a service-dominant logic perspective’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31 (3), 328-344.

O’Hern, M. and Aric R. (2009) ‘Customer Co-Creation: A Typology and Research Agenda’, Review of Marketing Research, 6, 84-106.

Salomo, S. et al. (2003) ‘Customer orientation in innovation projects and new product development success – the moderating effect of product innovativeness’, International Journal of Technology Management, 26( 5/6), 442-63

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4 Comments

  1. Posted 27th February 2018 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you that co-creation can be used in our project and I think it will be of great help that our because our project is customer-centric. I believe that letting consumer get involved in the ideate stage will make the design more innovative.

  2. Posted 28th February 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    I agree with you that a brand should maintain its identity and core value while accepting customer’s feedback in the co-design – a cinsumer-driven model. And the result of that can be more valuable, becasue recent research suggests that consumers want individual needs met and the brand can work towards customizing products.
    I think we can adopt this idea in our project’s research and design processes through questionnaire analysis. It will be really helpful.

  3. Posted 28th February 2018 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I do agree with you that consumer is one of the key elements of NPD, however we should not forget about other elements such as the market, timing and positioning.
    The idea you have mentioned about the questionnaire for our MFP project, would provide us with useful data for our project so I agree with you.

    • Posted 28th February 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree with you. For our project, we need to have a clear idea of the target market and positioning so that we can design the products that really fit to the brand value.

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