Where innovation processes make a difference in products' short- and long-term market success

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to investigate with reference to which factors the innovation processes of new and improved products differ and how these factors relate to the products' success on the market, with a specific focus on technology- and market-related factors. Design/methodology approach ‐ Data were collected on 129 products of the Dutch food and beverages (F&B) industry announced in professional journals in 1998. Questionnaires were used in 2000 to evaluate product innovativeness, product innovation process factors and short-term market performance; whereas in 2005 long-term market performance was measured. Findings ‐ The results show that there are considerable differences in the innovation processes of new versus improved products and in the role of process-related aspects in the short- and long-term market success of these products. Interestingly, taking the current emphasis on market orientation in the F&B industry into account, technology-related aspects are especially crucial for long-term market success. Originality/value ‐ The study distinguishes between product development processes of new versus improved products and relates innovation process factors to the success not of the company as a whole but of the specific product that is under development. This is a new approach. Moreover, the success of products is measured not only soon after market launch, but also after several years. It fills an important research gap by investigating success factors of products that have become cash cows of F&B companies.
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