New Product Development's Holy Trinity

Sunday, 14 February 2016 17:00
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Whether you call it the "holy trinity" or "3 legs of the stool" your value prop stands or falls based on these key factors


In new product concept development, consumer insight, technical insight and enabling technology are referred to as "the holy trinity". They are the 3 essential elements that serve as a foundation for new product concepts. Yet, many new product teams struggle to define more than 1 or 2 of these elements of early on, which can stall their efforts. It doesn't have to be that way.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

New Product Development's Holy Trinity

A compelling consumer need or insight is generally the spark that catalyzes the new product development process. While the project initiator may also have some preliminary ideas of the product execution, the technical specifics typically lag and can become project rate limiting. This is why I strongly encourage teams to scope out viable technical alternatives at the earliest stages of new product development and not just when they need to create an actual product. Let's walk through these 3 components to demonstrate this in a hypothetical example.

Compelling new product concepts are rooted in key consumer insights. This can be expressed as an unmet problem or need statement. For instance, "I understand why my airline needs to de ice its wings during bad weather, but it takes too long". If this is a common and compelling problem or need, then project leaders will be interested in identifying relevant and effective solutions. In this case, the deicing problem is not just a consumer irritant, it also negatively impacts flight times.

The second component of the holy trinity is a technical insight. For instance, what technical solutions options might be suitable and effective for addressing this problem? These can come from within the product category under consideration...or as often as not, they can also be borrowed from an unrelated area. In this case, there are some exciting thermal management material options from various industries that could be considered.

The enabling technology is the third element and represents the component that makes the product technically viable. It should also represent an overall superior alternative versus other available options. In spite of its critical importance, this often becomes the project's rate limiting step.

In our example, a scouting effort reveals a proprietary, thin coating that can be easily applied to surfaces and which can rapidly and safely radiate heat when an electrical current is passed through it. Think of the benefits of an automobile rear window defroster, but covering the entire airplane wing, not just a narrow strip. It could be an ideal wing de-icing technology that would out perform and render obsolete current spray-on chemical solutions.

My point is, when we proactively identify viable technology options early on in a new product project's life, we can meaningfully accelerate new product design and commercialization efforts.

Contact me today to discuss your particular project challenge.

"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.

Since 2005, BFS Innovations has helped its Fortune 500 clients with technology scouting, new business creation and business development services. Contact Michael today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 614 937-2408 to discuss your company's needs.


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