An Unexpected Way to Build Stronger New Product Concepts
Marketing managers within most companies define which new product initiatives to pursue and support. They decide the "What" based on their product strategy. What can be far more fluid is the "How"...that is, the product concept and its physical execution.
Marketing is often receptive to compelling, on-strategy inputs that are introduced at the front end of innovation. While R&D is often a partner in the new product concept development process, tech scouts (whether internal or external) can also make positive contributions to it. R&D shouldn't wait until concepts are fully formed before inviting their involvement.
Tech scouts have access to a broad array of technical and packaging inspirations from a wide variety of product categories and usage applications. They are very well positioned to suggest creative builds, and where to find the means to realize them. This input can be valuable for business teams to consider as they shape new product concepts.
As a hypothetical example, the Marketing team for an OTC company decides to pursue a new acne blemish treatment-concealer designed to appeal to teenagers. R&D invites its tech scout to the new product concept ideation session. During this discussion, the scout suggests consideration of a proprietary anti-inflammatory ingredient from the healthcare industry proven to quickly and visibly reduce redness and swelling without requiring ice...this should be valuable for self conscious teens eager for rapid results. He also brings in a compact, cosmetically elegant blending implement used in makeup application for consideration.
Please recognize that I'm absolutely not suggesting that R&D wouldn't or couldn't make similar, or even better suggestions. I'm simply offering that tech scouts draw inspiration from a broad array of category influences and can make constructive contributions to such discussions.
Consider inviting a tech scout to your next new product ideation session. You might be very pleasantly surprised.