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The Product Development Team

By: Art Rich, Ph.D.
Posted: November 3, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

The product development group functions as the swing activity between product marketing and research and development. It is involved with the selection of product(s) that will satisfy marketing needs for the new product launch.

Choosing Consumer and Product Targets

Eileen Pierce, founder of ESPierce Consulting, advises that lifestyle trends of target consumers are a top consideration; then narrow it down to consumer product usage trends—along with an in-depth study on the competitive marketplace.

“The brand’s personality, and the consumer, first and foremost,” says Trae Bodge, Trae Bodge Consulting, and formerly the creative director for Three Custom Color Specialists. “[And if expanding an existing line] you always want the new collections the make sense and not seem random.”

Karen Young, CEO, The Young Group, also notes understanding target audience and positioning the launch for that audience. Further analysis of the current portfolio, analysis of need-gaps and new category expansion should be undertaken, according to Sharon Garment, SG Beauty Development—who also advises that it is also a good time to study the applicability of new technologies and innovations.

"In the case of a start-up company, it is most important to find a unique position in the market,” she says. “If the company/brand is known for skin care then branching out in that area would be most advantageous, or a treatment makeup line would also work.”

Choosing a Product Category