New Product Planning and Development – Problems and Prospects

New Product Planning and Development – Problems and Prospects

New Product Planning and Development – Problems and Prospects

The concept of product failure has continue to evolve and expand as some product has suffered abandonment as a result of their failure in the market.

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For too many reasons, this has been and of which the problems and prospects of product planning and development is not an exception.

Interestingly, a good, effective and efficient management of new product planning and development may contribute highly to the success of product in their life span. Therefore, if a product must succeed it demands a set of expert or professionals to handle it.



PZ means Paterson Zochonis and was incorporated on the fourth December 1948, under its former name P.B Nichola and Company Ltd. PZ as a name was incorporated in England in 1884, became a public liability company (Plc) on the London and northern stock exchange in 1953. Its main activity is general merchant in West Africa which took them to establish  in this capacity in 1899. but now, its interest include industrial ventures. In 1951, Mr. P.B Nicholas sold out his interest he has in the company to PZ. As a result of the merger of PZ and Co. (Nig) ltd and associated industry ltd in 1976, the company changed its name to Paterson Zochonis limited.

After incorporation in 1948, building were erected and modern soap making equipment was installed at Aba thereby creating earlier major industrial manufacturing unit in Nigeria. The company’s range of product include bar tablet soaps, perfumery, cosmetics, confectionary which are distributed throughout Nigeria.


1.1                                     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The high failure rate of many new product is a clear testimony that product concept or product notion is circulated in terms of consumer behaviour and reaction towards that product.

Owing to the fact that it is not easy to carry out product planning and development especially in the manufacturing company or organization, it then requires and involves experts to handle the execution and planning of product development.

There are some threats which militate and pose problems against the idea of product planning and development which could come in terms of the existence of competitive brands, insufficient capital, lack of qualified personnel, poor planning and inadequate forecasting.

A balance must be struck between these problems and the organization or manufacturing industry for a successful product planning and development.


1.2.                  PURPOSE  OF THE STUDY


Manufacturing organizations religion the market for survival and growth like every other business. In developing a programme to reach its intended market, a company starts with the producer or services designed to satisfy the wants and need of the market.

Therefore, this research work is aimed at finding out the appropriate processes involved in the product planning and development. It is also aimed at highlighting the importance of product planning. The research work also looks into the necessity of new product planning and development and as it relates to marketing.

Finally, the main aim of this research work is to identify the likely problems encountered in new product planning and development as mentioned above and proffer possible solution to the problems associated with  the new product panning and development.



The genetics dictionary defined questions as a sentence(s) or word(s) asked for information and thus a matter or an issue, which is or needs to be selected. For the purpose of this research, the following questions have been considered relevant.

  1. To what extent does the existence of competitive brand affect the success of new product planning and development?
  2. To what extent does insufficiency finance militate against new product planning and development?
  3. How does lack of qualified personnel in a manufacturing firm affects the quality of the product negatively?
  4. How does inadequate forecasting affect new product planning and development in a manufacturing industry?


1.4.           HYPOTHESIS

For the purpose of this research, the following hypothesis will be tested.

H:O.1. The existence of competitive brand does not have a significant effect on the success of new product development.

H:a. The existence of competitive brand have a significant effect on the success of new product development.

H:O.2. Insufficient finance does not have a significant effect on product planning and development.

H:a. Insufficient finance have a significant effect on product planning and development.

H:O.3. Lack of qualified personnel does not have a significant effect on new product development.

H:a. Lack of qualified personnel have a significant effect on new product development.



In a depressed or low state of trade country like Nigeria, where market is moving from the sellers market to the buyers market, an appropriate planning and development of a product is of great importance to both the firm and the society as a whole. For an organization to effectively compete and get a leading or setter share of the consumer income in a fully buyer market, it must plan and design a product that will best suit the needs and wants of consumers.

The product as we know is a part of the marketing mix and also a means of generating revenue for the organization and country as a whole.  Therefore with new product planning and development, organization might be able to satisfy both the actual and potential buyers and customers. It will also be of agents use to government in the sense that it will help them in giving advise to the manufacturing organization on the social responsibilities of a product to the country’s economy.

It is also of utmost importance to marketing practitioners in the application of the marketing concept (to satisfy the needs and wants of customers at a profit). This will also enhance profitability on the part of the manufacturer who supplies consumers requirements.

Finally, the significance of the study will be relevant to the firm under study since it must compete with other firms in the same production line and must survive in the market.


1.6.            SCOPE OF THE STUDY

In scope and course of this write-up, particular attention will be directed towards:

a.   Meaning of product planning and development.

  1. Why new product planning and development.
  2. New product planning and development.
  3. Managing new product planning and development.
  4. Problems and prospects of product planning development.
    1. Why new product fails.

Above all, this work is not  intended to serve itself abut to business cooperations and to public at large. In order to make any product succeed in the market, the problems encountered in production must be spelt out and well taken care of.


1.7.           DEFINITION OF TERMS

These are the explanation of some words/terms used in the project that needs to be understood by the reader while going through it. Some of tem are: –

  1. Product dissolence or abandonment– just as life has stages and life span, so also is product. A product is said to be dissolence when it has gone to its apex demand. This is a stage when customers don’t need it any longer but wants a change in taste.
  2. Seller’s market–  this is a situation where producers or manufacturers produce products and push them directly or sell directly to the customers with an aggressive promotional tool which could be advertising, personal selling etc without a prior investigation of what the customers want or need.
  3. Buyer’s market- This is in contrast with the first idea. It is where the producers will first of all find out or know what the consumer wants and then produce it in such a way that it will satisfy their needs.
  4. Potential buyers- These are your prospective customers. Those who will patronize your products.
  5. Product- According to Boon Kurtz (1980), a product is a physical or functional characteristic of goods and services.
  6. market- These are the actual and potential buyers of your product. It is people who have the money to spend and the willingness to spend it.



The term product planning and development are used by variety of organization to present a wide range of activities.

New product planning and development is the organizations and the evaluation of new ideas that can be profitability sold in the market places. It consists of determining the goods and services that an organization will market and the characteristics of such goods and services.

New product planning and development involves various stages, which includes the screening and appraisal of an idea, analysis of the market, actual and potential customers for a product and the development and testing of the product before full-scale production is undertaken. These pinpoints the need for a careful research before new product development, which needs capable organization to develop, test and shepherd the new product, and it also needs coordinated effort to launch and distribute it after production.

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It is important to note that this is one of the management control task, without the existence of product, there is nothing to market and without marketing, there is no business enterprise.

Promotional efforts, pricing tactics and management of channels of distribution are all activities that are basically designed to facilitate product and services management for the purpose of satisfying perceived customer’s needs.

The way the organization plans and develops their products are in many ways of measure to the organizations customer oriented. Product planning and development in a comprehensive view involves those activities included in the process of determining specially that tangible and intangible attributes that leads to customer satisfaction which an organization should market and those technical activities involved in the creation, improvement and introduction in their form or situation through research (1981) said further that the combined score of product planning and development include making decision in the following areas:-

  1. Which product should the firm make and which should it buy?
  2. Should the company market more or fewer products?
  3. What new uses are there for each product?
  4. What brand, package and label should be used for each product?
  5. How should the product be styled and designed?
  6. In what quantity should each item be produced?
  7. How should the product be priced?

2.1             Therefore, product planning and development is a decision making area that bother on the existence, growth and survival of the firm, which is the most concern of the management. For a result, it needs the attention of the firms human and physical resource and effort to make it a success, which will lead to the accomplishment of the firms objectives.


According to Dr. Hector Lazo “marketing as a discipline would come more demanding of its participants stemming from the fact that as at this date, its weight are over whelming pressure on co-operation in it”.

Thus, definition removes many lots of doubt held by persons who are skeptical about the importance for product planning and development. The manufacturers to devote more time and money to the research and development of new product for changing consumer tastes. Dr. Lazo is also of the opinion that new ideas are the beginning of a marketing chain and intimated result in a seller product or service for the consumer. Therefore, we must create a situation where initiative and imagination are encouraged and rewarded regardless of the size of the firm.

Business has always been operating in a competitive world of the survival off the fittest. This is why Dr. Lazo says that today, if the business man does not   start this though process with the raw materials and end with the use of the product in the hands of these consumers that he is going to find himself buying along and at best his plan will produce Medicare result.

W.G. Bygues and B.K Chesterborn in their test work at product planning and development is been important in the sense that it attempts to discover what options are available and also the attributiveness of these options. Since the “economy has many unexploded nooks and crannies and opportunities to make good profit on a narrow front or for short period. They argued that it helps to check a situation where earning are below average and why no growth.

Since without profit, no other good objective can be achieved, it becomes available for the firm to do the work, even if a product is doing well in the market, there is still a continuous search for a better product and a more profitable market. This should be backed up by the desire for growth, prestige security and caressing  opportunities  for management.

The need or important of product planning and development cannot be over emphasized since any firm wanting to remain in the market and to achieve its goals and objectives must be prepared to meet the demand and challenges of new product planning and development caused by the competitive adjustment towards the changing.



The watchword for management must often be innovate or die”, and this innovating attitude can become a philosophy almost paralleling that of the marketing concept.

Product planning and development is a systematic process of originating, evaluating and developing new product ideas and adopting these showing promise that this can be profitably sold in the market place. Thus management procedure must be employed to generate, collect and secure idea for new product.

The major process of a new product  planning and development are idea generation, idea screening, concept test, test marketing and commercialization. At the each step, management decides whether to move to the next stage, abandon the product or seek additional information.


The starting point of new product development process is the explanation and generation of feasible ideas or ideas that satisfy all the constraints. Firms are constantly on the lookout for product ideas that will enable them achieve desired product mix and line objectives, but unfortunately, only a few of them are commercially feasible. Ideas for new products originated from internal and external sources. Internal source include the firm’s engineering and design department, research and development (R&D) department, management, salesmen or general employees in the form of suggestion box idea, scientist, top management. External sources include dealers, consumers, outside consultants, research department of other companies, patent attorneys, independent inventors, government research projects, trade fairs.


2.4.      IDEA  SCREENING-

It is not enough exploring new product ideas rather, a more difficult problem is that of distinguishing the good from the poor ideas. This is the stage where ideas generated and contributed into the concept statement is subjected to a preliminary screening analysis that determines the practicality of the ideas and amount of investment required, market possibilities, customer reactions and channels of distribution to be employed.

The screening stage is usually a two-step procedure first, new concept are examined and those that are obviously inconsistent with the firms product polices and objectives are rejected. Those in the concept statement must be compatible with the company corporate philosophy, existing marketing strategy, product line and assortment mix.

The second point is screening those product concept that might be feasible, screening the products into rank in  accordance with the new ideas and according to their attractiveness.



A product concept is the subjective meaning about a product that the company tries to communicate to the consumer. A product concept which can be a prototype or written description of the new product in pipeline is shown to some selected consumers to rank a number of product concepts. The main purpose of all product concept test are (a) to determine respondents effect, or feeling for a like or dislike for the concept (b) to measure the likely intention of respondents for purchase or non-purchase of product, and (c) to get answers as to why respondents are willing or unwilling to want to buy the products. Where the results of the product concept test is positive, that takes the new product team to the product development stage. However, if the result becomes negative the whole product idea may need to be dropped and the second product idea picked up. Presently, concept testing is usually carried out by specialist agencies to determine the likely acceptability of the products.



This is a technical stage, which includes the development of product from idea to physical form. Consumers are shown the concept statement for evaluation from their own standpoint of need and use. Their evaluation also includes suggestion of failures of attributes, which they would like to be added or deducted from the product. Because of the dynamic of the market circumstances and environment, is it important to make continuous study and contact with the market place or marketing development to enable the understanding of technical revision or stop product development.


2.7.      PRODUCT TEST.

For some products, it may become very necessary that the new product be exposed to a product test before advancing to market testing of the new product.

Product testing is the detailed testing and evaluating of prototypes of the new product. This exercise is very vital because, during the production stage, some in-built faults (not easily detected) may exist with the new product. During the product testing stage, the product is exposed to the likely environment under which it will finally be utilized.

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It is believed that any in-built fault is likely to be made known during   the product test stage. If there is minor fault, the product is taken back to production department for the problem to be righted. However, if the product develops a major problem, the whole product idea may need to be abandoned.


2.8.           TEST MARKETING

After being satisfied with the product functional performance, the product will be tested with a brand names and preliminary marketing programme to test the product acceptability in a more authority consumer setting. Test marketing is a scientific attempt to market product in a limited scale under rigidity controlled condition that tells the firm what likely happens when full-scale production is undertaken.

This is the last opportunity to modify the product or the marketing strategy. If test marketing is unsuccessful, the product may be withdrawn from further consideration or shelves for changes and later introduced.

Test marketing is undertaken to access this effort of the marketing programme for the new product than to evaluate the product itself. The amount of testing marketing is influenced by the investment cost and rests on one hand and the time pressing and research cost on the other hand.



As the last stage of the development process, commercialization involves finalizing decision to produce the new product and launch it on a full scale. The decision to engage in full scale launch shows that all the problems dictated at the test marketing stage that may inhabit market acceptance and profitability may have been corrected. Commercialization takes two phase. First, the preparation phase involves arguments to acquire funds needed for mass production. Also this stage involves final plans on mix of all the marketing tools and budget for the overall activity.

The second phase is launching and introductory, marks the beginning of the product life cycle as physical appearance, or actual full-scale launch of the new product in the intended market characterizes it. The success of the stage is closely related to advertisement and personal selling.



The product life   cycle is an attempt to recognize distinct stages in the sales history of the product. It is also an important or vital concept in new product planning and development process. Products are originated,  developed and launched into the market.   Some have minimum market and enjoy prolonged market success.

The concept states that in terms of sales and profit, a successful product from its   launch time to the time of its removal from the market is portrayed to pass through four stages which are introductory, growth, maturity and decline stage(s) before it eventually dies or re-launched. Because each stage/states offers distinct opportunities and threats, promotion mix strategy must be attuned to the relevant stages.



In the introduction stage, management creates marketing programmes that will enable the production to experience sales and profit growth. Profits are usually non-existent and sales come slowly as the firm attempt various penetrations stages for survival of profit. Hence, promotion primary role is informative or awareness creating, it should be adopted because it is assumed that the product is not yet known by many people. Almost all the promotion elements are needed here to do this job effectively but advertising, personal selling and sales promotion are in forefront. Advertising in the form of broadcast media, print media, display media and sales promotion in the form of free sample, price-off, contest etc. have caused the audience to make favourable disposition that may lead to trial purchase, brand switching     and brand loyalty.


2.11.       GROWTH STAGE

Product enter the growth stage of the market life cycle as the market expands through increasing awareness of the new product and repeat purchase by vital buyers. Careful monitoring of the products performance in the introducing stages and early in the growth, square the ultimate success and profitability of the new product, sales competitors will enter or erode the market.

Thus the managers task is to build brand preference and to solidify distribution strategy.


2.12.       MATURITY STAGE

Otherwise called the shakeout point, maturity stage maintains existing buyers by reminding them of the products/brands existence and its desirable attributes. Also at this stage of the product life cycle, sales volume contributes to grow the market reaches full maturity. Sales may continue to increase but at a decreasing rates, competition is very intense as competitors are now staring the market and if their marketing is really effective, and their market share may even be greater than that of the originating company.

As the intensity of the competitor rooms, it is the responsibility of the marketing manager to see that the company’s product takes full advantage of the market development. He may decide to try to increase the product market share by actually investigating more of company resources in promotion and distribution. Note that any customer, middlemen and salesmen lost to competitors at this stage will hardly come back because the benefiting competitor will certainly want to remain him with some stronger incentives.


2.13.       DECLINE STAGE

At this stage, one may be thinking of phasing out the product and spending little on promotions, especially sales promotion. Phasing out may be trying to stop production completely or selling the product to some one else to continue production. Whichever way, the objective is to divest into more lucrative areas.

In some cases, profits may have focally disappeared and the item is carried only for the convenience of the firms customer to have a full assortment and a well development production mix.

We have discussed the product life cycle as if there exist only one life cycle for all products. In the real sense, there exist different products and all products do not have the same shape or curve as the one discussed. Moreover, the length of time that all products need to travel through each of the mentioned stages of the product life cycle is not the same. More importantly, the increased rate with which new technology is being introduced into the market and the increased rate of change in consumer taste and preferences has resulted in the shortening of the life cycle of most newly introduced products. The stage of the life cycle in which a product fails/falls at a point in time has implication for marketing decision-making.



Product management and managing of product lines is the key to successful development and making of new products. Therefore, management of the product planning and development process is more important than the process itself. Firms have many different ways of managing the new product planning and development process.



New product committees consists of top management people from marketing, engineering, finance and development process.

Such committee brims a broadened perspective to the task but they are rather handicapped by all the shortcomings of leadership by committee, divided authority, lack of clear-cut of real interest such committee most be frequently used to generate new product ideas.



Product managers are used to supervise the product and development process. In consumer goods, field product manager assailing called brand manager with marking background are completely responsible for the success of the products in their jurisdiction.

The product manager in industrial marketing organization co-ordinates all elements that affect the profitability of his/her product line. These individuals responsibility is to straddle the gap between marketing, manufacturing, engineering, interoperation of the needs of the marked place to research engineering and manufacturing organization.



These departments have sufficient states to comment the attribution to top executives and secure co-operation of people throughout the organization. New product and development can easily secure the co-operation of marketing research department and when the product reached the rollout stage, it is turned over to the marking department.



Despite the elaborate and elegant effort throughout the product planning and development process, many new products still fail to meet the expected market tracer, perhaps as many as 50 percent periods of market success.

Production fails to meet expected market and profit tauter because much attention and care are not siren to the products. Many manufacturing firms have no formal planning and development procedures and ignore scientific, retinal procedures in favour of management launches and intuition. In other words, management fails to recognize, the importance of rapidly changing market environment.

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Often management forgets that marketing deals with consumer and that the product must satisfy needs and wants of the consumer. Many forms have inadequate facilities for testing consumers attitudes about new product and many are reluctant, hire outside agency to do it. In some cases or instances, over jealousy to management or a new product origination falls so much in love with the new product idea that they sick research only to support the convictions, completely neglecting the objectivity of marketing research.

The company may budget a certain amount for the development of a particular product but at a long-run, the actual amount will be higher than expected which leads to higher prices and in return lower sales volume than anticipated.

Failure of manufacturing firm to provide sufficient and failure to retain marketing personnel for new products and new markets also have adverse effect on the success of new product.

It can be summarized thus- (i.e. why new products fail).

  1. Through under or over estimation of demand resulting to carrying of excess inventory, or lack of adequate inventory to meet up with the demand market.
  2. Unforeseen hidden product deficiency during production, which only came up during usage by users.
  3. New product do not offer consumers any added advantage over already existing brands.
  4. Inadequate marketing effort to “push” and “pull” the new product along the distributive network.
  5. When projected cost is higher than actual. This may result to higher selling prices and unencouraging sales volume.
  6. If competitors find it very easy to introduce their own brand of product almost alongside the new product.
  7. Unforeseen changes in consumer taste and preference immediately the product was introduced.



From the fore-going, it is deduced that product planning and development is not an easy concern. Product planning and development is a risk and uncertain activity. Since every product depends on market for survival and growth, there is problem of accurately forecasting the failure. This is the time of manufacturing when firms with  poorly skilled personnel and with inadequate technical know-how will certainly dash out.

It is risky to devote much time and invest huge money in planning and development of a product as the business world is dynamic. Technicality and the product itself are also problems. In most cases, companies do not produce sufficient quantities to meet market demand for their goods/products. So this might make competitors to gain anticipated share of the market.

Environmental factors will increasingly affect or influence the decisions of product planning and development because no company will afford to waste its natural resources, particularly its scarce scientific and technical talent.

There is the problem of the organizations inability to draw up an accurate forecast of the risk and returns involved in product development so that it can carryout appraisal of the necessary investments.

Effective product planning and development response is harder to achieve here, there is internal organizational resistance to change.

There might be a lack of enthusiasm to take on new product development risks. Another problem is competitor capacity to undertake product-planning development. The competitors may have greater capacity and available resources or a large scale may permit them to gain lower units cost as a result of greater investment in operational facilities.

More highlighting productive manufacturing equipment to make and distribute the product. This kind of capacity may put the new product planning and development activities of smaller competitors at increased price. Market acceptability is also a problem behind product planning and development.

Consumer reactions to the abandoned of a well-known product or brand and its replacement by something new.


The preceding has given a background and development as regards to manufacturing firms/industry. Consumer/customers perception of the industries performance, problems encountered by industries(s) while carrying out new product planning and development have been discussed.

It also gives a brief account of what new product planning is and why this study was carried out, like finding out the appropriate processes involved in new product planning.

This final chapter attempts to present an overview of the findings of this study and then suggest policy recommendations for future participation in the product planning and development.


5.2.                                   SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

It was established in the course of this study that product planning and development demands a careful handling to avoid its negative implication of product failure. It then requires that a balance must be struck between the department carrying out the new product planning and development and the co-operate purpose of the industry to maximize profit.

From the information collected from the respondents, the following findings were made.

  1. It was discovered that due to the existence of competitive brand in the market, new products does not survive all the time in the market.
  2. It was also discovered that insufficient finance was also a problem that militate against product planning and development.
  3. Lack of qualified personnel in the manufacturing firm, negatively affect product quality.
  4. It was also discovered that due to late introduction of the product into the market, causes product failure in.
  5. It was also discovered that companies do not produce sufficient quantities to meet market demand for their goods due to inadequate of technical and product method.
  6. Inadequate research of the market demand and high prices of the product leads to product failure.


5.3.                                   CONCLUSION

Product innovation or new product planning and development is more critical and demanding than just what an ordinary man may envisage. Increasingly, industries/firms are being expected to play a direct role in meeting consumer needs and wants with their product(s).

The first responsibility the firm or an industry own’s to their consumers/customer’s is to ensure that they plan and develop their products in such a way that it will meet the target needs and wants of their actual and potential buyers which will help them in the attainment of their objectives.

It is pertinent to conclude that in future, for firms to effectively gain a big market share and customer loyalty which would in turn serve as a source of resources input and consumption outlet for their outputs, firms must achieve their objectives by carrying out a qualitative product planning and development.

It should however be noted that industries should not carryout the idea of new product planning and development which they lack competence otherwise they may experience product failure which will lead to time, efforts and resource(s) wasted.



Since a product cannot be successful without a proper care and handling of new product planning and development, the following cause of action are recommended.

  1. Competitive product(s) should be given great attention as to monitor the steps they are taking and to differentiate their product from the competitor’s own.
  2. The management must release adequate finance to the manufacturing sector to enable them carry out their product planning and development successfully.
  3. Good personnel must be recruited in a production firm. Those that will plan for the product development, train their workers to be fit in their area of operation and promote those that have achieved the goals of the firm.
  4. Any product that has been developed by the manufacturing firm should be launched in the market without any delay to avoid competitors producing exactly what they have produced.
  5. Manufacturing companies should leave the process of new product planning and development to be handled by experts or specialist. The experts/specialist should form a new product committee that should comprise engineers, accountants, production manager to administer the product planning and development process with due regards to the timing and budget which with planned process will lead to mass production of the company’s product to serve the entire market.
  6. Effective market survey should be carried out to determine what the market wants or requires. Information and also appropriate pricing strategy should be adopted by manufacturing firm in relation to competitors price in order to make their product prices within the ranging of market acceptance.

I also recommend that a further practical research should be performed or carried out.

New Product Planning and Development – Problems and Prospects

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