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Background of the case

The Original Creation, founded by Mary Shelley, is an organization that develops a range of lifestyle improvement products using email brochures and internet marketing. The company recently had to withdraw their latest venture after a few months of unsuccessful tries at marketing a new product (Develop new products and services | infoentrepreneurs.org 2022). The company has failed to market their recent product of “toenail clipper” due to dissatisfaction shown by the customers and is looking for better approaches to improve their product development. The paper outlines the background of the company, the reasons behind the case, key issues identified and sets of considerations and recommendations for improving the services. The Manager aims to put together an efficient team that helps with advice and product development betterment.

The Original Creation is a company that helps market a range of lifestyle products by using email brochures and the Internet. The company founded by Mary Shelley produces rainwear for cats and dogs, automated air fresheners and ‘make-your-own’ birthday cards. The firm also builds garden lights, cloth dryers, hair clips, blood pressure measurement devices and scrubs. The company develops the plan for the product among their in-house employees but gets it manufactured by outsourcing. The new products are developed as ideas to keep the sales boosted with interest and novelty (Patterson 2022).

The paper came from the disappointment of the Manager due to the withdrawal of her latest venture after three months of unsuccessful tries to market her new product. The Manager, Mary Shelly, is the founder of original lifestyle products maker Original Creations, bringing in products like automated air fresheners, rainwear for cats and dogs and “make-your-own” birthday cards. However, they face significant disadvantages from the customers and low sales. Thus, the company has thought about improving its services and developing products.

The Manager is significantly upset about their recent failures and extremely concerned about whether they should take other systematic approaches to develop their new products. The company fails to forecast its product's market potential (How to forecast sales of a new product |www.bdc.ca 2022). The Manager wants to mitigate management problems, including a wide range of tasks and activities.

The problem faced by the company is having to withdraw the product from the market due to success below expectation. The company manager stated that ten new products had been withdrawn recently, with the company losing its strategic direction. The product that tends to fail had dissatisfied the customer, generating extremely low sales, not justifying the cost of manufacturing and high returns for continuing the projects. The problems had arisen in various sectors of the company trying to keep up with the customer preferences of creating new product. The paper thus analyses all the key issues present in the company relating to the urgency of developing better new products and forecasting their demands (Rampton 2022). The latest failed product failed in being an innovative idea, creating viability in the market, getting help from workflow management, and facing unforeseen circumstances and issues with manufacturing.

Reasons

The company aims to gain insight into the key issues found in the Original Creation relating to their unsuccessful business directions. The key issues that were found in Original Creations are:

  • The company only sells their product online using mail brochures. The products lack to be sold efficiently using proper marketing strategies, not utilizing the present possibilities that come from digital marketing and advertisements
  • The company fails to manufacture their ideas into products. The company fails to manufacture their product with no present manufacturing unit. All manufacturing is done by outsourcing the product manufacturing from other similar companies.
  • The company must rely on other competitive manufacturing farms to build its products. There needs to be an understanding that the product development should be done in-house to mitigate the chances of failures with appropriate facilities to support proper product development.
  • The company fails to communicate with foreign manufacturers outside the UK due to the language barrier. The lack of understanding of foreign languages leads to conflicts wasting effort, time and money. The company needs to understand the barriers from the inability to communicate properly and lack enough comprehension (Bae and Park 2019). The relationship between the manufacturer and the company can hamper the discrimination and separation of group ideologies.  
  • Communication further suffers between the company and the foreign manufacturer with the cultural differences. The cultural differences have led the company to fail to interact, and the manufacturers failed to make the company understand if issues arrive.
  • The product as sent in batches lacks proper checking during receiving products into the warehouse. The products are received a lot; thus, there is no proper checking present to verify the quality of the product.
  • The quality of the products coming into the warehouse is only checked with spot checks. The quality of the products is not verified while brought in, leading to damaged products being sent to the customers. The spot checks fail to provide a proper quality check
  • The company is repeatedly failing to launch new products and make a profit from them, with their tenth unsuccessful product failure. The company had lost their strategic direction in developing products that dissatisfied the customer generating low sales and other issues (10 stages of launching a new product |keap.com 2022).
  • The company might be losing strategic direction. Strategic direction gives the company the path to success which is missing in product development in Original Creations (Kandemir and Acur 2022).
  • The recent product “extended toenail clipper” generated extremely low sales, lower than expected. The product failed to satisfy their customer, leading to low sales.  
  • The company had stacked up many products in their warehouse to deliver them to the customer, but the products were not moving from the shelf due to a lack of interest.
  • The recent product failed to be useful and provide quality to the customers, dissatisfying them. There is no present quality management department checking the product quality.
  • Customers complained during feedback that the product was sent damaged while it arrived. The spot checks are thus unsuccessful in telling whether the products are reaching the shelf damaged or not.
  • The sales of the product couldn’t justify the cost required for manufacturing. The sales generation was very low due to the low demand for the product; thus, the situation did not justify the product manufacturing.
  • The company fails to use focus groups for product idea generation. The focus groups are meant to test the customer's reaction to the new product helping to understand concepts and prototypes. All that expertise is completely missing.
  • The company has not efficiently invested in digital marketing. Digital marketing is needed in the latest technology adoption worldwide, opening many possibilities. Digital marketing would help the company reach a larger audience, frequently communicating and understanding user perceptions.
  • The Manager gets to judge the selection of the product idea. The final call is a big step and needs a collective decision understanding the various factors that would align the product development with the company's objectives. The Manager lacks to actively listen to his employees and utilize the opportunities for consultation.
  • There are no presenting verification and validation techniques. The lack of proper quality management and product testing has led the products to dissatisfy their customers. The company is suffering from product failures that can be mitigated with rigorous product verification and validation testing and managing the best practices for product quality.
  • The Manager solely relies on product sales as the method of test. Product testing is needed to be done with care to understand the present issues in the system and improve the quality of the final product (de Vicente Bittar 2018).
  • The feedback system samples only a small targeted audience. The feedback system should allow the customers with various feedback systems to get detailed feedback.  
  • The company fails to have a risk management strategy in place, failing to forecast the risks during product development. Risk management tends to improve the business processes, but the company fails to provide value without understanding the issues that can arise from the existing situations.
  • The Manager does not take help from the existing stakeholders and understand the customer perspectives. The stakeholders are professionals with ideas, values, knowledge and views of developing the new product to create shared benefit, which the Manager completely avoids.  

Thus, the key issues are identified in Original Creations stating and describing them to gain knowledge to better their services. The key issues must be solved as quickly as possible with the necessary solution or recommendation for the problem.

The new product development of the Original Creation should help mitigate the issues by implementing new changes in the traditional approaches. The product development must start with understanding and defining the target audience and how to approach the audience to understand their perceptions (Council | Forbes.com 2022). The key issues are understood and define the buying process. The brand must take help from digital marketing to secure its online brand value and verify and validate its new ideas (Dumitriu et al. 2019). The competitors are understood and innovate new ideas. The customers might interact with the prototypes to create tests and check their satisfaction (Relich et al. 2020). The product should be planned strategically, having everyone on similar terms and determined guidelines. There should be early incentives for using the products and rigorous, continuous testing to understand the gap and how to mitigate it. There should be a story behind the product, and the next upgrades should be planned continuously.

The company has a total of 40/50 individuals with 15 people in operations involving packing the products, labelling and posting, 5 in HR helps in managing young HR individuals, 10 staff in logistics and warehousing helps in managing outsourced staff, 3 individual in the media team helping in developing product brochures in every three months, 2 buyers helping in developing contracts, 6 employees as general admin and finance looking into financial activities and general administrative measures and 2 individual as customer services handling customer issues like payment, non-delivery and warranty. The other employees present in the company helping with new product development are Project manager that manages the complete project, Developer that helps in the development of the new product, technical expert that checks the technical aspects of the product, quality expert that checks the product quality, Business Analyst checking the market, Tester helping in testing the product and Resource manager who helps with allocating the resources. The figure 2 below shows the work breakdown structure of the new product development.

The Budget of the new product development of Original Creations needs appropriate estimation for determining the right cost. For developing new products, the long-term and short-term financial goals are needed to be determined. The process starts with planning the financial framework for the coming years. The budget provides details on the plan being carried out step by step as the project progresses. The forecasting is done taking help from historical data and market conditions to predict how the revenue would be expended by the Original Creation while creating the new product. The budget forecasting is done using analysis of market, planning scenarios and reforecast appropriately. The budget for the new product development is shown in the Table 1, provided in the appendix.

Key issues present at Original Creations

There must be efficient measures taken by the original creation to boost their sales of the new product developed. The company needs to utilize the perception of the current customers, taking care of their perspective and behaviour towards the value of the new product. There should be appropriate feedback measures to understand their point of view. There should appropriate marketing strategy that would help with conducting promotions and advertisements regularly to reach more customer and intrigue the current target audience. There should be unique packaging, trails, deals and offers that attract the attention of the customer making the product stand out of the rest. The products would sell if the product share a common theme, being cost effective and innovative. Sales can also be generated from social media platform if content marketing is preferred. Thus, these measures significantly boost the sales of the new product.

Original Creation faces problems from the withdrawal of new products from the market. The key issues identified in the case should be mitigated with good practices and practical consideration. The considerations and recommendations that the Original Creations must comply with making changes and adjustments for developing new products, reaching better access and forest on their organizational potential are:

  • The company must find ways to change its manufacturing capabilities, developing a manufacturing unit to make their new products by themselves. The new in-house manufacturing would facilitate easier communication to remove the issues of language barriers, wasting time and effort, agility to react to the market, rapid testing, and easy customization with small changes (Saranga et al.2018).
  • Quality management: Product quality is the characteristics of the new product that must fulfill the customers' needs and meet the product specifications at the lowest prices. The product quality needs to be managed must contain quality planning, control, assurance and improvement (Gutierrez-Gutierrez, Barrales-Molina and Kaynak 2018). Product quality is significantly improved as quality management allows testing the product specifications and creating safe procedures to ensure that products do not reach the customer in a damaged state.
  • Risk management: The risk assessment and management are important in Original Creation as the strategy would minimize major delays and financial costs by better optimization of resources for improving performances (7 Product Launch Strategies to Create Buzz Around Your Business | neilpatel.com). Risk management allows the new product development to be secure from any present uncertainty in the project's path (Sabzevari, Sajadi and Hadjimolana 2020). The process allows minimizing threats related to new product development, market risks, customer acceptance, meeting product requirements and performing to its maximum capabilities.  
  • Digital marketing: Original Creation should think about adopting digital marketing strategies to launch their new products to the market, opening new possibilities to reach a larger audience. Digital marketing can be done using search engine optimization, social media, influencer marketing and content marketing to strengthen new touchpoints to target audiences with personalization strategies to improve customer experiences (Bala and Verma 2018). The customers' interest must grow over time with the use of digital marketing strategies that are cheap, allowing innovative approaches for interacting with the right target audience.  
  • Better feedback system: The Company can adopt a new rating and review system that allows customers to rate the new products on the online website, transforming the traditional feedback system. The rating system would allow the business to understand the perception of a larger target audience about their preferences using the new product developed and released (Diekmann 2018). The rating system allows understanding the customer opinions.
  • Use of focus groups: The product idea development of the company should use focus groups for idea generation for designing the right products according to the customer's perception and needs and the organization's capability to fulfill the needs (Qin and van der Rhee 2021). The focus group would discover new ideas involving skilful people in the job of decision making, allowing flexibility to dive deep into any issues that might occur during the entire product lifecycle.

Conclusion: 

The Original Creation has failed to develop new products, satisfy potential customers, and forecast the market potential by assessing new knowledge. The company helped bring new products into the market but failed to satisfy their customers, having to withdraw the product from the market. The company thus wants to understand better processes to mitigate the key issues that they face during the new product development. The company has recently failed to launch their product “extended toenail clipper” and wants to understand where they are wrong. The paper thus guides through the background of the company, the reason behind the study, key issues that were identified in the organization relating to their new product development and the set of considerations that can be utilized to improve their services. The Manager needs to utilize the opportunities they can achieve to help them efficiently make new product development.  

References: 

Rampton, J. (2022) 7 Steps For Forecasting Without Historical Data [online]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/11/25/7-steps-for-forecasting-without-historical-data/ [Accessed 16 April 2022]

How to forecast sales of a new product (2022). [online]. Available from: https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/marketing-sales-export/sales/forecasting-sales-of-new-products [Accessed 16 April 2022]

10 stages of launching a new product (2022). [online]. Available from: https://keap.com/business-success-blog/growth/planning-strategy/ten-stages-to-a-successful-product-launch [Accessed 16 April 2022]

Council, F. (2022) Council Post: 17 Steps To Take Before You Launch A Product Or Service [online]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/24/18-steps-to-take-before-you-launch-a-product-or-service/?sh=69c0501619cf [Accessed 16 April 2022]

7 Product Launch Strategies to Create Buzz Around Your Business (2022). [online]. Available from: https://neilpatel.com/blog/product-launch-strategies/ [Accessed 16 April 2022]

Develop new products and services (2022). [online]. Available from: https://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/develop-new-products-and-services/ [Accessed 16 April 2022]

Patterson, L. (2022) How to Successfully Bring New Products to Market [online]. Available from: https://www.industryweek.com/innovation/article/22025235/how-to-successfully-bring-new-products-to-market [Accessed 16 April 2022]

Saranga, H., George, R., Beine, J. and Arnold, U., 2018. Resource configurations, product development capability, and competitive advantage: An empirical analysis of their evolution. Journal of Business Research, 85, pp.32-50.

Gutierrez-Gutierrez, L.J., Barrales-Molina, V. and Kaynak, H., 2018. The role of human resource-related quality management practices in new product development: A dynamic capability perspective. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.

Sabzevari, M., Sajadi, S.M. and Hadjimolana, S.M., 2020. Supply chain reconfiguration for new product development through risk management approach. Scientia Iranica, 27(4), pp.2108-2126.

Bala, M. and Verma, D., 2018. A critical review of digital marketing. M. Bala, D. Verma (2018). A Critical Review of Digital Marketing. International Journal of Management, IT & Engineering, 8(10), pp.321-339.

Diekmann, M., 2018. How flexibility in terms of organizational and informational flexibility leads to a better NPD project performance and the moderating effect of environmental turbulence (Doctoral dissertation, University of Groningen. Faculty of Economics and Business).

Qin, J. and van der Rhee, B., 2021. From trash to treasure: A checklist to identify high-potential NPD projects from previously rejected projects. Technovation, 104, p.102259.

Dumitriu, D., Militaru, G., Deselnicu, D.C., Niculescu, A. and Popescu, M.A.M., 2019. A perspective over modern SMEs: Managing brand equity, growth and sustainability through digital marketing tools and techniques. Sustainability, 11(7), p.2111.

Relich, M., Nielsen, I., Bocewicz, G. and Banaszak, Z., 2020, March. Constraint programming for new product development project prototyping. In Asian Conference on Intelligent Information and Database Systems (pp. 26-37). Springer, Cham.

Bae, S.J. and Park, M., 2019. Manifestation of Language Transfer Problem During the New Product Development Process. ??????, 56(1), pp.21-56.

Kandemir, D. and Acur, N., 2022. How can firms locate proactive strategic flexibility in their new product development process?: The effects of market and technological alignment. Innovation, pp.1-26.

de Vicente Bittar, A., 2018. Selling remanufactured products: Does consumer environmental consciousness matter?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 181, pp.527-536.

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