product development (new product development)

Product development is a broad field of endeavor dealing with the design, creation, and marketing of new products.

Product development is the process of designing, creating and marketing new products or services to benefit customers. Sometimes referred to as new product development, the discipline is focused on developing systematic methods for guiding all the processes involved in getting a new product to market.

Product development involves either improving an existing product or its presentation, or developing a new product to target a particular market segment or segments. Consistent product development is a necessity for companies striving to keep up with changes and trends in the marketplace to ensure their future profitability and success. A competitive product development strategy should include a company-wide commitment to creating items that fulfill particular consumer needs or characteristics. These characteristics might include consumers' desire for the following: products that are high-quality or low-cost; products that provide the consumer with speed or flexibility; or products that offer some other form of differentiation that posits them a desirable purchase.

A number of organizations are dedicated to supporting product development professionals, such as the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) and the Product Development Institute (PDI).

This was first published in August 2005

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