Sources of New Product Ideas

Many sources for new product ideas exist. These can be broken down into those inside and outside the organisation. The task facing organisations searching for new product ideas is to identify these sources, and to organise them so that they activate the flow of ideas in such a way as to direct ideas to those people charged with the responsibility for developing them into new product launches.

The following is a chart which shows the main sources.  Are ther others you can think of?  Let me know and I will add them.

Sources of ideas/ innovation Techniques of obtaining ideas
Customers/ market sources In-depth interviews; Brain- storming;
Comments of dissatisfied consumers; Market Research

Market Intelligence

Customers’ suggestions Market Research

Market Intelligence Consumer group discussion

Identifying unsatisfied market needs Market Research
Staff generated ideas Culture of innovation

Organisation and management


Co-development with customers, Distributors and other intermediaries Regular interaction and communications
Complaints; Customer Service Reports;



Suppliers/vendors suggestions; Interviews; Informal suggestions
Competitors Me-too innovations;
Similar organisations value propositions  
Joint product development


Strategic alliances; Joint ventures; NPD consortia;
Government reports and publications Publications
Universities, academic research Publications

Interviews; Research funding; Sponsored research; Partnerships

Foreign sources Ideas suggested by foreign products
Exhibitions and trade shows  



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