What Separates Japanese New Product Winners from Losers

What Separates Japanese New Product Winners from Losers Operating in the upper echelons of highly competitive, global markets, numerous Japanese firms enjoy well‐deserved reputations for excellence in new product development. Despite this success, however, almost no research has been conducted to explore the keys to successful new product development in Japanese companies. For the most part, research in this area has focused on North American and European firms. X. Michael Song and Mark E. Parry address this gap with a study of 404 Japanese firms and 788 new product introductions. Their research explores the links between new product success and 10 factors: product advantage; marketing synergy; technological synergy; market potential; market competitiveness; market and technical understanding; senior management support; proficiency in the predevelopment planning process and in concept development and evaluation; proficiency in market research, market pretesting, and market launch; and technical proficiency. To avoid any cultural bias, development of the survey was preceded by in‐depth case studies and focus group interviews with Japanese and American new product development teams. Although time‐consuming and expensive, these preliminary steps were necessary for ensuring the validity of the survey contents and procedures. Notwithstanding the obvious cultural differences, the findings from this study suggest that Japanese new products professionals view the keys to success in much the same way as their North American counterparts. For the survey respondents, the most important success factor is product advantage. Other important success factors include predevelopment proficiency (that is, proficiency in the predevelopment planning process as well as in concept definition and evaluation) and marketing and technological synergy. Consistent with previous research on North American firms, market competitiveness was found to be the least important success factor. For managers who are trying to predict whether a project will result in a product advantage, several survey items may be useful as a checklist for assessing potential product advantage. In particular, these managers should consider whether the product offers potential for reducing consumer costs and expanding consumer capabilities, as well as the likelihood that the product offers improved quality, superior technical performance, and a superior benefit‐to‐cost ratio. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Product Innovation Management Wiley

What Separates Japanese New Product Winners from Losers

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 1996 Elsevier Science Inc.
ISSN
0737-6782
eISSN
1540-5885
DOI
10.1111/1540-5885.1350422
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Operating in the upper echelons of highly competitive, global markets, numerous Japanese firms enjoy well‐deserved reputations for excellence in new product development. Despite this success, however, almost no research has been conducted to explore the keys to successful new product development in Japanese companies. For the most part, research in this area has focused on North American and European firms. X. Michael Song and Mark E. Parry address this gap with a study of 404 Japanese firms and 788 new product introductions. Their research explores the links between new product success and 10 factors: product advantage; marketing synergy; technological synergy; market potential; market competitiveness; market and technical understanding; senior management support; proficiency in the predevelopment planning process and in concept development and evaluation; proficiency in market research, market pretesting, and market launch; and technical proficiency. To avoid any cultural bias, development of the survey was preceded by in‐depth case studies and focus group interviews with Japanese and American new product development teams. Although time‐consuming and expensive, these preliminary steps were necessary for ensuring the validity of the survey contents and procedures. Notwithstanding the obvious cultural differences, the findings from this study suggest that Japanese new products professionals view the keys to success in much the same way as their North American counterparts. For the survey respondents, the most important success factor is product advantage. Other important success factors include predevelopment proficiency (that is, proficiency in the predevelopment planning process as well as in concept definition and evaluation) and marketing and technological synergy. Consistent with previous research on North American firms, market competitiveness was found to be the least important success factor. For managers who are trying to predict whether a project will result in a product advantage, several survey items may be useful as a checklist for assessing potential product advantage. In particular, these managers should consider whether the product offers potential for reducing consumer costs and expanding consumer capabilities, as well as the likelihood that the product offers improved quality, superior technical performance, and a superior benefit‐to‐cost ratio.

Journal

The Journal of Product Innovation ManagementWiley

Published: Sep 1, 1996

References

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