Coca-Cola: Product Development Analysis

Synopsis of the Situation

Competition in marketing coupled with globalization has led to development and introduction of new products in the market. Organizations are currently struggling to establish new products in the market to make them standout from their competitors. However, not all new products have succeeded in gaining support both in the local and international market. There are various reasons why different products have been successful in the market while others have failed to attract consumers despite them being well manufactured and satisfied to be fit for sales. This paper aims at analyzing some of the reasons that have made some products successful while others fail to gain market.

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New product development failures and success

Basically, when developing a product for local or international market, there are various considerations that have to be put into consideration to guarantee the success of the product. Failure to bear in mind these considerations may lead to products failing to achieve their target despite the organization using all the available means of marketing the product. Some of the reasons that make product development succeed in both local and international market include ensuring that the developer has targeted the right group, developing a product that effectively meet consumer needs and establishing a strong product positioning. When developing a new product, it is imperative for the developer to ensure that he or she has established his target group (The Marketing Frayers, 2010, para. 2-5). This is to help one be able to identify their taste and preference as well as purchasing behavior thus be able to come up with the right product. Understanding the target group also facilitates in developing a product that effectively satisfy consumer needs.

Product positioning is another factor that helps in the success of new product development both locally and international market. Generally, it becomes very hard for manufacturers to change consumer perception in different products. To be able to attract consumers for the new product, manufacturers ought to ensure that they position the product in a manner that goes with consumer perception. One of the methods used to ensure the success of new product in the market by manufacturers is ensuring that they are the first to introduce the product (Davis, 2009, p. 14). This is because it is easy for consumers to remember the first manufacturer than those who subsequently followed when the product was established. In return, consumers develop the notion that the first manufacturer always offer quality product. This makes consumers become loyal to the manufacturer leading to the success of the new product (Rao, 2008, para. 3-5).

On the other hand, various new products fail to succeed no matter the effort made by the developer. There are different factors that lead to such situations which include poor quality of the product, failure by the product to fulfill the promised benefits and swift change of the economy after development of the product (Mir, 2009, para. 2-4). For a new product to be readily accepted by consumers, it has to be of quality. Most of the consumers are willing to spend more in buying quality products. Most of the new products fail to be successful in both local and international market due to their quality. Once consumers notice that the product is of poor quality, they decline from using the product despite it going at a lower price compared to its substitutes. This eventually leads to the failure of the product.

When a mew product is introduced into the market, consumers are promised that the product will be able to satisfy some of their vital needs. This leads to consumers buying the product in large numbers. In case they happen to realize that the product does not meet the promised benefits, consumers refrain from buying the product. This eventually leads to the failure of the new product. Globalization and competition ion global market is leading to rapid changes in the economy. New products are emerging day-in-day-out. This is leading to other products being declared dead and buried even before they have not achieved their targeted objectives in the market. This has been one of the factors that have led to new products failing to succeed in the market. Consumer needs rapidly change with change in the economy making the product unable to meet these changed needs.

Steps of new product development

Before developing a new product, there are various stages that are followed. Effectively implementation of every stage leads to the success of the product in the market is it local or international. These stages include idea generation, concept testing, product development, market testing, product launch and evaluation of results.

Idea Generation

Before a new product is actually developed, the developer has to come up with an idea. The department responsible of product development within an organization comes together and brainstorm on the product to develop based on identified consumer needs (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 2). At times, organizations may come up with an idea of developing a new product out of chance circumstance.

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Concept Testing

After the team has come up with an idea of the product to develop, it embarks on testing the feasibility of their idea. This is by getting views from other employees in the organization as well as the target consumers, media and the regulatory body. This helps the gain an insight on the success of the idea. Developers investigate on some of the weaknesses of the available products, investigate on chances of other companies also coming up with new products and come up with market trends for the new product (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 3).

Product Development

Once the team has been satisfied by the feasibility of the product, they embark on product development to satisfy the identified needs. Here the team physically design and develop the product. The team also conducts business analysis at this stage where it estimates the selling price for its product with respect to competing products and consumer response (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 4). The organization approximates its sales volume based on the target market and tests the product to determine its usage.

Market Testing

After the development of the product, organizations conduct market testing where consumers are given an opportunity to use the product. The response from consumers helps marketers in coming up with the appropriate market mix to facilitate in selling the product (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 5). The marketers also come up with a viable estimate of the rate of sales of the product as well as how the product will be used by consumers.

Product Launch

Having identified the sales volume, rate of purchase as well as consumer response towards the product, a company then launches the product into the market. Here there are different methods that can be used which include product promotion and advertisement (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 6). This is in bid to make the product familiar in the market. Giving consumers an opportunity to use the product for free makes them understand the benefits of the products thus making them more willing to continue using it. A strong market mix is identified to help in selling the product.

Evaluation of Results

After a product has already been launched, an organization conducts an evaluation on its sales to determine whether it has been able to attain its target. This is with respect to its sales volume, profit as well as income obtained from the product (Gordon & Vernick, 2005, para. 7). From the evaluation, the organization can determine if the product has been successful thus continue producing it or it has been a failure thus does away with it. Failure to evaluate product performance may lead to an organization dealing in a product that is not profitable hence making it incur expenses.

2 products that have been successful and 2 products that were failures

There are different companies that have succeeded in introducing new products while others have failed in making their new products gain market share. Examples of products that were successful include Sprite 3G an energy drink from Coca-Cola Company and iPod manufactured by Apple Company. On the other hand, Coco Pops from Kellogg’s Company and toys manufactured by Mattel Company are some of the products that failed to meet market standards. Some of the factors that have been credited for the success of iPod and 3G product include the ability of the two companies to come up with the product idea. High need of energy drink combining different ingredients led to development of 3G energy drink. On the other hand, need by customers to have portable electronic gadget capable of saving music and videos led to development of iPod. Thorough market analysis conducted by the two companies collected enough information on the desire for the products which triggered the desire by the companies to manufacture the products.

Coca Cola ensured that it manufactures a product with a combination of various vital ingredients to satisfy consumer needs (Bold, 2005, para. 1-5). At this time, there was no other energy drink that comprised of multiple ingredients. In addition, Apple Company ensured that its iPod had big memory capable of storing a lot of music and videos. Most of the available gadgets could only handle limited number of songs while most of them could not play video music (Wong, 2006, para. 1-3). Market testing conducted by the two companies assured them that the products would be readily accepted in the market. People had an opportunity to enjoy free drinks from Coca Cola Company while Apple Company offered its iPod at low prices. This eventually led to the launch of the products in the market by the companies. The two companies have ensured that they have put in place strong marketing mix to facilitate in selling their products. Evaluations conducted by the two companies have shown that they have been able to make sales volume that is above their target.

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The failure of Coco Pops manufactured by Kellogg’s Company and Toys manufactured by Mattel Company can be blamed to the failure of the company to effectively develop the product. The two companies had come up with good ideas about the products as well as conducted a good market testing. However, when it came to product development, Mattel developed its products without putting into considerations health hazards that may be posed by materials used in manufacturing the toys. These resulted to faults in development of the toys as well as inclusion of lead paint which was poisonous. As a result, the company was forced to recall all its products. Kellogg’s on its side manufactured its Coco Pops without putting into consideration the right level of sugar (Consumer International, 2007, para. 1-8). Consequently, it Pops were found to have exceeded the required level of sugar making them fail to be successful in Australian, Mexican and British markets.

Recommendation

The success of 3G and iPod products lies behind the ability of the two companies to come up with a great idea and develop products that effectively satisfy consumer needs. To help Kellogg’s and Mattel succeed in introducing their products in the market, the two companies ought to have put into consideration the health requirements. This would have helped Kellogg’s manufacture Coco Pops with the allowed level of sugar. Mattel would have also avoided using poisonous paint in its toys as well as ensured that there were no faults in production of the toys.

References

  1. Consumer International. (2007). Consumers International-Press briefing international bad product awards 2007.
  2. Davis, D. (2009). Rx for new product success.
  3. Gordon, J. & Vernick, B. (2005). Six steps to developing a successful new product. Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association.
  4. Mir, A. J. (2009). Causes of new product failure. Web.
  5. The Marketing Frayers. (2010). Top 10 reasons for new product failure. Web.
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