What’s New in Product Development Engineering?
Engineering and new product development (NPD) is not just engineering. It is a complete process of assessing markets and transforming market opportunity into marketable products available for sale. The products can be tangible goods or services. The NPD engineer must have a good grasp of the market place in the present and near future as well as the capacity to plan, construct and arrange for manufacture of new products.
One significant new trend in product development is the use of crowd funding to evaluate markets and raise start-up money for new product development. Institutions like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have enabled many start-up companies to test markets and raise money through pre-orders or pledges for next generation products. If new campaigns fail, these entrepreneurial companies go back to the market with re-tooled products. This is a no-lose NPD method.
Using YouTube as a marketing method is another social media related trend. “YouTube influencers” are a new profession of consultants who create and promote compelling YouTube campaigns. These represent an entirely new trend in market development. The ROI of YouTube early marketing is extremely high. Millions go to YouTube to find answers to common problems. It is an extremely valuable source for finding and assessing market needs as well as presenting new products for purchase.
Mass use of digital marketing channels has drastically reduced the decision time regarding the potential of new products. Mechanisms for potential customers to easily provide feedback to companies has fueled a shift in control of NPD from a small group of elite designers to the broader consuming public. The speed of the feedback has brought about a trend toward continuous innovation, always working to refine products as market needs get clearer.