Product Planning
Chapter 5
Concept Generation
• Generate a bunch of ideas, pick out the
few good ones, and toss out the rest!
• Six main techniques for generating
• About 4% of people are “highly creative”
• Creativity, per Maslow, is correlated with
“the ability to withstand the lack of
structure, the lack of future, lack of
predictability, of control, the tolerance for
ambiguity, for planlessness”
Product Concept Statement
• Foundation for further development effort
• Three elements of a product concept
– Form
– Technology
– Benefit
• Benefit is the most important – customers
buy benefit, not form or technology
Concept Generation Techniques
Six major techniques to generate ideas
Needs assessment – what does the customer need
Scenario analysis – where do trends take us
Group creativity – getting creative people together
Attribute analysis – very mechanical approach
Relationship analysis – look for new connections
Lateral research – look sideways at the product
Needs Assessment
• Understanding marketplace needs –
customer pain points
• McQuarrie’s seven step methodology to
do this (listed on pages 70-71)
• Can also use experts or publications or
market research companies (I prefer the
• Ethnography, role playing, asking your
employees, lead user analysis
Scenario Analysis
• Extend approach and leap approach
• Extend takes current trends and stretches
them into the future
• Leap begins in the future and paints a
picture of what that future looks like
Group Creativity
• Brainstorming is commonly used
• Delphi approach also used
• New techniques are evolving
– Consumer-centric innovation
– Ideation
– Sentence completion
– Personification
Attribute Analysis
• Look at product characteristics to generate new
• Three typical approaches
– Determinant gap analysis – attributes are known, key
drivers are extended; attribute rating (AR) approach
– Perceptual gap analysis – attributes are not known or
not easily identified; used paired comparisons and
create perceptual map; overall similarity (OS)
– Similarity/dissimilarity analysis – concepts evaluated
on similarity or dissimilarity to each other; can use
cluster analysis for this type of work
Relationship Analysis
• Forces examination of relationships
between unrelated issues to find ideas
• Three main techniques
– Two-dimensional matrix – Identify two key
elements and generate new ideas
– Morphological analysis – Identify different
levels of attributes and compare different
combinations (conjoint models used here)
– Analogies – proxies that are similar to the
Lateral Search
• Attempt to create “out of the box” thinking
• Four main techniques in this area
– Competitor review – what are they doing
– Avoidance technique – challenging ideas
– Big Winner technique – iterate reasons why
the consumers like the product area
– Creative stimuli technique – for a given noun
or adjective, brainstorm ideas