Sample Paper on Screening Criteria for Conceptualizing and Designing New Products

Knowledge, Skills, and Expertise

Candidates should have a clear understanding of the whole concept of product conceptualization and designing including the target audience and the available frameworks to guide the entire process. Most importantly, the candidates should be knowledgeable about the eight stages of new product development. The first stage, idea generation, refers to the progressive systematic search for new product opportunities, which also includes modifying or changing the existing product (Claessens, 2015). Ideas can be sourced internally from R&D as well as employees or externally: distributors and suppliers and rivals. However, the most important external source is the client base because the new product development process aims at delivering customer value. The second stage is idea screening, which involves filtering the gathered ideas to pick out suitable ones. This process can be achieved through objective consideration like early testing and consumer feedback.

Thirdly, concept development and testing refers to the detailed version of step two. The concept testing is done using actual customers to determine the necessary adjustments or further developments of the concept as indicated by the feedback (Claessens, 2015). The candidate should be in position to give an example of concept development and testing such as the clay-made prototypes of cars that are presented at auto shows to get consumer feedback. The next phase is marketing strategy development. Once a concept has been tested, it is important to design the marketing strategy for the new product to ensure its success on the market. Here, the team can utilize the 4Ps of marketing: product, rice, promotion, and placement. Pricing decisions are made basing on supply, demand, and profit margins. Promotion through advertisements, marketing campaigns, and public relations are crucial in reaching the target market. Placement considers the channel through which the product will be provided to the customers including online and physical shops.

Feasibility analysis is another crucial step that helps to investigate the commercial and business foundations of the concept. At this stage, the team estimates the number of customers, costs and overheads, Average revenue per user (ARPU), and the maximum and minimum costs sales among others (Claessens, 2015). Spreadsheets and financial modeling can be helpful in determining the performance of the product or service within the first year. The next step, product development, integrates the findings of the feasibility analysis. The concept is turned into a workable market offering and all technicalities are addressed. Additionally, the departments in charge of the product launching including finance, production, and marketing are notified. The seventh stage is market testing in which the entire concept: product development process, the product, and the suggested marketing plans, as well as packaging, distribution, and advertising are tested in real markets. The last-minute changes at this stage are invaluable for polishing the product.

Commercialization or market entry is the last stage in which the offering is introduced to the market. All the information gathered across the seven stages is combined to produce, market, and supply the final product or service through the identified channels (Claessen, 2015). Once the offering is available on the market, the product lifecycle begins. The eight stages are the pillars of product conceptualization and design. The candidate should demonstrate extensive knowledge in this area by stating all the stages and explain while giving accurate examples.

Drive, Motivation, and Perseverance

The candidate should be passionate, inspired, and willing to endure challenges. Motivation and perseverance are critical values in product development. He/she should demonstrate an intrinsic motivation that is related to work. Since individuals are passionate about something, it is important to screen for the specific motivations. This will help to discover whether the subject is intrinsically motivated by the tasks and opportunities in the available job. Furthermore, the candidate should have the ability to create a working environment that other employees find inspiring. Some of the questions asked include, “What is your biggest dream?” “What goals have you set for your life?”, and “What is your ideal work environment and culture?”  Additionally, product conceptualization and design is a taxing process that includes too many processes and setbacks are inevitable. An eligible client should be persevering and resilient to ensure the process is successfully completed.

Creative Thinking

The candidate should be excellent in critical thinking. Effective product development processes require creative thinking since the quality is associated with problem solving, innovation, resilience, and adaptability (Illuminate Training, 2015). Creative thinking is essential in ideation, which is the first step in product development. A candidate should demonstrate his/her ability and capacity of creative thinking by providing unique feasible responses to different scenarios presented to him/her. An individual should be able to respond to, “Have you ever solved a problem within a strict deadline? Tell me about it.” Creative models including synectics – analogy and metaphor-based techniques for combining different elements help to assess an individual’s creative thinking ability (Wiatrowski, 2007). Synectics mostly focuses on blending of unrelated objects particularly nature with a product challenge. The candidate should demonstrate the ability of finding solution from one environment and compare it with the other unrelated knowledge to come up with a feasible solution.

Self-Confidence, Independence, and Willingness to Take Risk

The candidate should display self-confidence, autonomy, and be a risk-taker. A high sense of confidence is essential in achieving goals. Product development is a laborious task that requires confidence about every step being taken. A self-confident team player will not be afraid of taking responsibilities and understanding that failures are part f life. He/she will demonstrate a high motivation to keep going despite the challenges faced in the processes of product conceptualization and development. Furthermore, self-confidence breeds a sense of autonomy and therefore, easy adaptability and the desire to perform even under pressure. The individual should demonstrate a high sense of self-confidence from the firm handshake, a knowledgeable tone, straight eye contact, and body positioning.

Willingness to be Flexible and Seek Support as Required

The individual should be willing to be adaptable and ask for assistance when necessary. Product conceptualization and design entails uncertain outcomes especially during concept testing. While the candidate should be self-confident, he/she should exhibit a high sense of adaptability and a spirit of teamwork. A flexible mindset helps an individual to adjust or change the offering in a timely manner once feedback is received. When the mind is inclined towards uncertainty, it becomes easy to handle unexpected outcomes, which is important during product conceptualization and design. Moreover, the candidate should show willingness to seek help from other team members or the management whenever necessary. The process of product development is done by a team, and therefore, teamwork is an invaluable concept that brings together diverse experiences and knowledge to come up with a cutting edge product. The willingness to seek for support is also helpful in cultivating healthy relationships among team members, which in turn fosters cohesion, hence, improved teamwork. The candidate should demonstrate a preference to work as part of a team than working alone. He/she should indicate that he/she is more productive when part of the team. Lastly, the individual should reveal high professionalism when asked how to deal with difficult team members.

 

 

References

Claessens, M. (2015, June 24). The new product development process (NPD) – Obtain new products. Marketing Insider. Retrieved from https://marketing-insider.eu/new-product-development-process/

Illuminate Training. (2015, Sep 1). The role of creative thinking in business. Illuminate Training. Retrieved from https://www.illumine.co.uk/2015/09/creative-thinking-in-business/

Wiatrowski, R. (2007, Dec). Using creativity tools to improve the product development process. International Center for Studies in Creativity. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e919/e7a12cb7979d79682ef1d8d3746ea80d765c.pdf