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Applied management program (AMP) has been a final course of assignment after having finished all the modules of my masters program in Business management. It has been very challenging three months to me among entire course duration. Being a challenge AMP has given me an opportunity to lean and explore the various key areas of business studies which helped me to become more knowledgeable about the business management studies. Writing such as large report of consisting 12000 words is been new and I was not assigned such assignment to me in the earlier phase of education life. The topic Consumer involvement in new product development process is a challenging and critical topic which has been playing a vital role since decades in business scenarios. I was bit tensed and confused when I heard about the topic for the first time, but after attending the AMP week sessions conducted by University, I was sufficiently confident and dealt with the topic successfully. The topic customer role as a user, resource and co-creator though is connected to the broader aspect of a consumer and his whole and sole liberty of choosing or rejecting a product available, it can be understood that one cannot sustain without a product when there is a need of it and the manufacturer cannot be idle in creating and further innovating when there is again a need to do that. As said in the broader sense any product can become vague if it is not updated properly in time considering the changing requirements of an existing consumer. The present case study/the project largely focuses and has a concentration of relevance with similar issues a company may face in the real world cutthroat competition. This report lays emphasis on the aspect of reading consumers' minds to sustain in the market and making such products that are really meant for them to consume and being produced by the manufacturer as in regards of the consumer. The study takes an effort of understanding the vitality and role of a consumer in designing a product that is again meant for the same person who is to consume it. It raises few points of imperial stature that why a company or a business enterprise should consider a consumer in designing a product more that referring their own product developers and engineers? Though the project is meant to resolve and draw certain level of conclusions, it has been understood that various exceptions are levied through out but yet valuable and justified points have been drawn out of the study.
Knowledge/idea about the research:
The project worked out has been an opportunity in exploring a number of pros and cons that are vested in a business view of launching a product. Any company that thinks of sustaining in the long run needs to enhance its opportunities and explore the ideas of product improvement and innovation within a boundary of customer focus area. It is quite well known that due to the liberal trade policies and free competition practices being applied through out the world, a company needs to quickly change its gears and try to shoot up to the expectations of customers to be alive. So, it is quite naturally meant that understanding a customer as per his changing needs is important and also to have a thorough knowledge of how market dynamics are changing.
Though knowing and understanding a consumer as per his changing needs is difficult taking his scale of income, level of product knowledge and other such factors, it must be understood that a customer and his need for the product is the basic creator of the product. Henceforth one customer is supposed to be a critical element in understanding how a company needs to change itself to commemorate and stand up to the task of introducing a new product in the market. Here it can be noticed that "a customer is the king maker" until he gets what he needs from the company, i.e., a customer can be the one who creates a product by signaling the need of a product and can also through the same product into a bin by denying the same. So, the company or a business organization needs to properly evaluate and understand how and what consumer thinks of a product and what he needs to see in the product further. And that is only possible when the company undertakes a cognitive approach to find out in studying its consumers closely and implementing those study specifications in its future action plans.
Recollection of Experiences:
Though the given topic consumer involvement in new product development process was bit challenging, I could able to manage to give my best to the project due to the team work. All the team members were very helpful and supportive throughout the project. Frequent meetings helped every one of the group to develop the ideas completely, every new idea related to the topic was discussed among the group for decision making and every one contributed considerably to the overall achievement. I understood the importance of team after coming here which was new to me as my previous education was almost involved with individual working based. The team working skills I learned during my course helped me a lot in coordinating with team members and work on the given task. The project has really taught many new things about the topic and made me to learn the importance of consumer involvement in new product development. Especially the sessions held during AMP week were very helpful and brainstorming, our team could able to clear many queries related to the procedure and required knowledge to execute the project with utmost perfection and completeness.
Personal feelings and learning from the experiences: Critical analysis
I have been habituated to handle the challenges which come across in the life. I am proved to be efficient in previous phases of education life. I have always been a step ahead in tackling the challenging situation and addressing such situation with hard work and determination. This project though conducted on a business to consumer view, a number of other parameters relating to consumer have been understood and been reflected in the report as the topic largely focuses and revolves around the customer himself. From the reflection process, many of my ideas relating to the topic are reflected in, and are quite broadly integrated into it. A very high amount of emphasis has been laid on the role of consumer along side of a company's need in understanding its own or even prospective consumers. Though it is projected that a consumer is the king maker, a company can also rule its own way by tracking trends and through a variety of research techniques and their real time application into the market study and implementation process. However many tools including product surveys and questionnaires, data collection and integration, trend analysis etc are few such techniques, it is learnt that a sample group or a set of consumers group can be a source of relative first hand data to draw a number of conclusions.
Through out the report, certain points were keenly observed and have been presented as per the level of intensity that a company thinks of about a consumer in taking vital decisions relating a product launch. Even several points were highlighted throughout the project and are quite radically discussed about why a consumer is referred in creating or launching a product. Even the concept of integrating pricing and promotion strategies were reflected in the report as it is highly perceived that a product priced at the range of consumer appeals well into the deeper roots of the market and that product itself would get simultaneous promotion with out special efforts being levied.
While making a point of emphasis on the conceptual theories more in place, the project report also covered certain dynamic issues relating to the logical thinking of one customer that how and when he needs a product in the market. Unlike seasonal products, a company can push its products into the market considering certain minimal factors of importance such as the utility value and over that, the amount of returns that a customer gets from the product in a long run. Even it has been presented in the project that a consumer being a logically benefit thinker, he always finds a need to have service offerings once he purchase a product. Even various levels of discussions were concluded in the report relating to the need and the importance of knowing a customer though process in accepting a product and also the implementation of such customer preferences into the product development. One such aspect was also integrated into the project that is what a customers' role as a user, resource and a co-creator of a product. It is clearly understood that how to understand a customer with respect to his clear need of a product and why and how he needs that product should be clearly specified.
The report covered few phrases discussing the need for a company in coordinating with a number of customers and that how it can lead to the successful launch of the product. Though it has a number of exemptions, it includes certain factors including the resources factor, availability and time factor that requires a product's creation. Along side of various challenges which are more specific about the company's progress, that can also involve very radically in changing the face of the company and involves the need to focus on various operating challenges so that a customer and his view points can be collaborated with and into the product planned for development and launch. Even it becomes more essential that the development process of product is so much keen for sustaining with in the market(s). Even there is a chance that one company's practices get changed when it is gelled with the user collaboration and may result in several changes with in the company's operational strategies that would also help in leading for various organizational objectives, while having a near prefect impact of marketing strategies which might result in the company's revenue growth.
One of the factors that influence a successful product launch is customer perspective that gets developed on the utility values of particular product. However it can clearly be understood that several social and cultural factors are influential along with certain spiritual values .It also depends on status of individuals, their esteem values and ethics. Such factors would largely contribute to a company in segmenting its customers. Even the product utility value with customer perspective would also conjoin with the aspect of convenience. Here convenience doesn't mean to be saving time and efforts but mean to be the frequency of accessibility for a product. Even several economic being provided would be considerable as the product needs to be drafted and also needs to be considered as per the consumer desire. That part of need just doesn't mean to be the price levied or the flexibility modes made available in payments but it's about the affect of a product on a customer's budget in a long period of time. Even here one customer would clearly perceive the product(s) that has a basic need and would be made available at the disposal of regent factors. It can easily be quoted at a price that is lucrative and quite competitive. The company also should provide its own products with certain value added features for enhancing its utility value.
Several important metrics were considered throughout the project to understand the stance of consumer that how they would categorize and even how a consumer accepts a product. Some of the metrics through which satisfaction of customer can probably be analyzed would be by the means of appropriate questionnaires and targeting those to proper audience. It also requires to conduct a variety of surveys and other kinds of formal and informal communication as well as conversation modes through which a macro level process of learning consumers can be implemented at large. It would mostly to know what actually a consumers likes are and what can his dislikes be as suppose.
Several parametric points were raised throughout the project that what is the necessity to understand a consumer before a product is launched and what is the level of significance that plays with in consumers' minds. Hence, for making a clearly levied analysis on customer's mind set and their status, it is imminent to make certain level of conceptual and traditional approaches which can by and large be contradicting on the level of issue. Even the project report converses few phrases about SWOT analysis and the need of research with in core level of the study on consumer mindset in understanding all of the requirements that are raised by customer and the aspect of the level of vitality for meeting their needs. So, an organization needs to be more and more specific and needs to make its customer rather more happy ensuring they are not loosing business and their consumer is not loosing his interest in any means possible.
I would firmly say that AMP week has been crucial and significant and considered to be value added in entire project duration. Dealing with such challenging and critical project could not have been possible without the support of speakers and tutors who really helped a lot in making the project successful. The databases such as EMERALD and EBSCO have really helped in finding the required journals and articles related to the topic. Here I would like to take an opportunity to thank the University for providing access to such effective and efficient databases to the students. Session regarding the plagiarism and its importance in the academic project has been really helpful, the speaker clearly explained the concept of plagiarism and required actions to avoid plagiarism in the project. This helped me a lot in taking the necessary steps to avoid plagiarism in my report.
The importance of product life cycle is also discussed through out the project, even the topic for me was personally related as it is how I as an individual personally evaluate being a curious customer. In a business perspective, the company should try focusing on implementing various controls during improvement stage of the product. Even the product needs to exceed the values pre created by the existing one in terms of life cycle of the product that how it passes through all phases and hence meeting reasonable satisfactory levels of consumer. In the introduction stage of the product life cycle, the consumer would largely interested in purchasing a product and would be ready to adopt the price and utility values being quoted by the manufacturer. It is the point where a producer employs multiple ways of production which involves undertaking a minimal risk and exploring the opportunities of optimal production levels rather than making thesis and exploring the customer related needs and preferences. Even the marketing strategy that has been used in the introduction stages would focus on the creating awareness about the products in order to boost its market. The focus is mainly to generate adequate market share while attracting consumers and aloe enhance production instead of just making and correcting existing products and further innovations to the product itself. Also, the amount of promotions and advertising for creating required awareness of products and further more gathering customers would prove to be a costly affair unless the company finds some limelight out of dark. It can hardly rely upon consumer to accept what ever it produces, but instead the company needs to evaluate a very wide range of options to how to understand them and execute the relative plans and policies in a span of short time to over achieve the expectations of consumers.
Group dynamics and learning from experiences:
Group dynamics have always been prominent and significant when the task is involved with team working criteria. Team work has been proved to be successful and most efficient working process since decades. Though I felt a bit tensed when I heard about the topic it was only reason I was happy as the task was involved with team work. Our team had many successful meetings, every time we discussed and learned different aspects of project. The support extended by the tutors, friends, group members and speakers during AMP week has been vital and I would like to thank each and every one of them for supporting and guiding me in right way which helped in finishing the project in given time. Now after working nearly three months on this topic consumer involvement in new product development process, I would firmly say that I would be able to apply the knowledge and skills I gained during my project in my future accomplishments and career.
Mainly the objective behind applied management project is to make the students apply the skills and knowledge which they have learnt during the business management course. I would firmly say that the objective has been fully achieved and I applied skills and business which have learnt during my course duration. To realize project objectives, a number of direct queries were quoted to general public (consumers) which has been reflected in the present report and the implications were clearly derived and implemented into the output while considering various parameters including mindset of consumers. These reflections have certainly added a great level of value in completing the project successfully. AMP period has been really brainstorming and made me work hard simultaneously on various aspects by which I have enhanced multitasking skills. Finally I would like to thank the Tutors once again for their kind support and encouragement extended without which the project could not have been possible to finish the given time. I would also like to thank my friends and group members for their support and cooperation during the AMP period.