Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on April 08, 2011
Organisations create products to fulfill the needs of the customer. Customers are always on the lookout for better products and services which can be useful for them. Companies use innovative methods of creating newer products so as to lure customers. The various types of new products or methods which are deployed in targeting consumers are Product modifications, Improving packaging, Repositioning or Re-launching a product. But above all there is one phenomenon of creating new products and that is creating a Breakthrough product.
Breakthrough products and services are which give the customer a product which is technologically and creatively superior to the existing product which is present in the market. Breakthrough products fulfill the similar need, service or utility as other competitor products, but being technologically advanced and innovative, they are better than the existing products. Such products are known as breakthrough products. In simpler terms, every invention or innovative product creation is a breakthrough product.
Break through products can be understood by a few examples as discussed below.
Cars were invented in the early 20th century, and used petrol and diesel engines. Over the years, many product innovations have been done in improving mileage, increasing speed, efficiency, lesser fuel consumption, improving chassis dynamics etc, which have created automobiles having better finesse and quality. But a breakthrough in the field of the automobile industry was the introduction of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), which use electricity for the engines. Alongwith that, use of 'regenerative braking' for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy useful for charging car batteries was also a breakthrough technology. Hence, hybrid cars like Toyota Prius are a breakthrough product in the automobile sector.
Another example of breakthrough products is in the field of computers and technology. Earlier, vacuum tubes were used for storage of data. But with the inventions of transistors and microprocessors, breakthrough products like floppy disks were created. Still further, this technology was replaced by breakthrough inventions of compact disc cds, DVDs, blu-ray discs, pen drives etc. Thus, storage of computer data was achieved by technologically advanced products.
Some other e.g.s can also help in elaborating the concept of breakthrough products. Use of cash has been reduced by creation of the breakthrough technology of credit cards and debit cards, which give more freedom, safety and convenience to customers. Similarly, the breakthrough invention of mobile phones has revolutionized the telecommunication sector, gradually replacing and making landlines an obsolete technology. Another product which can be considered are hand sanitizers which have challenged the fact that no water is required to cleanse the hands, and mere application of the product can kill the germs. Thus, breakthrough products often end up changing the rules of the game of business.
Creating a breakthrough product is the ultimate challenge for any business, especially in a world where competition has reached to unnerving heights. The main challenges for innovating and creating a breakthrough product are:
• Technology introduction- Testing of technology is a critical factor.
• EconomicInsight- New product development can lead to a manifold increase in the stipulated budget and finances.
• Risk Management- Breakthrough products don’t guarantee success which increases a company’s risk.
• Customercommunication- Introducing a new advanced product is a marketing challenge to inform the customer about product utility, features and benefits.
Breakthrough products don’t necessarily mean success for a business. Sometimes innovative breakthrough products are ahead of their time. Customers may find it difficult to understand the product concept; it may not be accepted easily and might lead to a complete business failure. But despite the negatives, creating breakthrough products has colossal advantages.
The world is a competitive battlefield for businesses, where everyday new players enter with vigor and the existing ones tighten their grip on the market. But there is one path to creating your own unparalleled world in this battle, and that is by creating and innovating breakthrough products.
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