Notes On Product Planning Process:

       Product planning is the starting point in the overall marketing program. It is a very wide activity. It involves the innovation of new product, improvement of existing product, adding new product to the product line and dropping uneconomic product form the product line.

Defined by Karl H. Tietjen:

       In the opinion Karl H. Tietjen, "Product planning is the ct of making out and supervising the search, screening, development and commercialization of new product, modification of the existing lines and discontinuance of marginal or unprofitable items."

       The above definition reveals the following aspects of product planning:

  1. Deciding about the production of new products.
  2. Increase or decrease in product line
  3. Improvement of existing products
  4. Discontinuance of unprofitable products
  5. Product innovation
Process Of Introducing New Product (Product Planning Process):

       One of the major challenges in marketing planning is to develop ideas for a new product and to launch them successfully. The company will have to find replacement for each product that has declined stages.

       The new product development must be carefully planned and managed. The development process is discussed as follows:

1. Generation of New Idea:

       The very first step of product planning process is the generation of new idea. The sources of product generating ideas include - consumers, scientists, and technology, competitors, consultant dealers, sales force, top management etc.

2. Screening of New Idea:

       Screening means critical evaluation of product ideas generated by a company. All new ideas and inventions are evaluated. The poor and bad ideas are dropped while the most profitable ideas are picked up for further detailed research and investigation.

3. Concept Development and Testing:

       After screening, the survived ideas are studied in details. They are developed into matured product concept. The concept testing helps the company to choose the best among the available alternative product concepts.

4. Business Analysis:

       Once the concept s picked up, it is subject to rigorous scrutiny to evaluate its market potential, capital investment etc. Business analysis is the combination of market research and cost benefit analysis. It proves the economic prospect of the product concept.

5. Product development Program:

       This stage has three steps:

  1. Photo type development or giving visual image of the product.
  2. Consumer testing of the model or photo type
  3. Branding, packaging and pricing

       Consumer testing of the model product will provide the ground for final selection of the most profitable model.

6. Test Marketing:

       Test marketing is necessary to find out the viability of the full marketing program for national distribution.

       Test Marketing can answer the question such as:-

  1. Is the new product leveled and packed properly?
  2. Is the new product licked by the consumers?
  3. Is the firm justified in spending sums on productive capacity?

       Positive answers will re-assure the marketers.

7. Commercialization:

       After passing the test marketing, the company finalizes all the features of the product. Full fledged marketing and promotion campaign is launched for mass distribution of the product. The product is then said to be born and starts its life cycle in new course