Reducing the Risks of New Product Development
The authors provide an alternative. Companies including Threadless, Yamaha and Ryohin Keikaku have begun to integrate customers into the innovation process by soliciting new product concepts directly from them. These firms also ask for commitments from customers to purchase a new product before the companies commence final development and manufacturing. This process -- called "collective customer commitment"-- can help companies avoid costly product failures. In essence, collective customer commitment enables firms to serve a market segment efficiently without first having to identify that segment, and it helps convert expenditures in market research directly into sales.