Where do the other ideas or research efforts go They get into the vast Knowledge Management databases which is available to the organization as part of core business knowledge for future reference. All these products are a result of dollar intensive and highly sophisticated research which actually delves into the minds of end-consumers in a very concerted effort to focus the mind of the consumer on the company's products, services and processes.
It was a quirk of an idea to increase the diameter of the tooth paste tube's nozzle by a millimeter in an effort to increase annual sales of tooth paste at Unilever. This of course caught like a wild fire and is much quoted as an example of business smartness and innovation. In this case, the above stated ides is t R & D for a global FMCG company.
All it took the Australian phone company to reduce its bleed on local calls was introduction of a lead ring into the handsets of telephones. This lead ring fatigued the hands of the users who started disconnecting calls much earlier than the previous endless hours of conversation. A simple but a powerful idea directly impacted the network utilization as well as bottom lines of the Australian telephone network. That's R & D for a large telecom operator (Bono, 2003).
There was this person who stuck post-it sheets with the names of the car owners on the insides of the fuel cap covers and this person spoke to each and every customer using their names. Sales increased dramatically. This person was trying to leverage customer experience at the gas station, researched to find out that people love to be addressed by their names. That's nothing but R & D for a micro enterprise (B, 2006).
Xerox that spent billions of dollars in getting new products to the market place failed miserably and was bleeding at the point of machine replacements in 72 hours. As part of their service level agreement, Xerox innovated its post sales service delivery mechanism to come up with almost instantaneous resolution of over 98% of customer complaints thereby reducing the bleed due to machine replacement promise to almost nil.
Today various Corporates are investing billions of dollars to leverage the R & D knowledge at the market place and this paper will specifically look at the innovations at Unilever - Unipath, Xerox - PARC and Ntt - MBD.
A Product/Service - Its importance
Most of the organizations, once having introduced a product / service into the market place, leverage of two different types of research. The first type of research is to find out what the consumer wants or even has in his mind. The second type of research is to how to move the current product line or introduce a new product line to meet those expectations in the mind of the consumer. It is more often in the second type of research work, which new product identification happens. Also it is in the second type of research that companies often file for patents; develop knowledge that may be leveraged in future.
Marketing begins with the identification of consumer needs and wants, and culminates with successfully