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How to develop and market products in the Middle East

Improving innovation in the Middle East with a market mind-set

With the launch of CIM’s new ‘Product Innovation and Marketing in the Middle East’ course, we asked CIM’s course director Cole Hanrahan to highlight some of the key insights marketers could gain from the course when launching new products in the Middle East.

As leaders across the globe reinforce their commitment to reduce their dependence on a hydrocarbon economy and adopt greener fuels and technologies, it is now more important than ever that Middle Eastern nations innovate new products and create new businesses for the future. 

A number of initiatives are underway in the region, with increased investment in innovation, new technology parks and programs to encourage innovation in society.  However, it is important to consider that most new products fail.

So it is essential that innovation is focused on developing products that can succeed in the market.

Bringing together experts and asking them to create ideas and invent products, is a risky business. Even if they are lucky enough to create products that work, there is no guarantee that the market will accept and buy those products.

Discussing the launch of the new course, Raj Achan, CIM’s UAE ambassador said: “The launch of this course is very much in line with the innovation strategy and vision of the leaders of UAE and surrounding regions. Today, companies are facing a competitive and continuously changing business landscape. The performance and success of companies in the region depends more than ever on their innovation, flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness. New technological possibilities have the potential to transform the way companies operate within their respective industries with long-term gains in efficiency, productivity and customer loyalty.”

“The demands on organisations to meet these requirements are huge. Innovation requires strong integration between the various functions of the organisation. It is vital that people from across the business work together towards a common goal. Not just to invent and manufacture new products, but to ensure that any new products that they bring to market are successful commercially. This new course enables business organisations and individuals, regardless of their roles, to face these challenges head on, with a common purpose, to innovate and introduce new products that will be successful in the market.”

So what can be done to increase the chances of success?

Above all, adopt ‘a market mind-set’ and make sure that potential ideas are always considered from a market point of view, right from the moment a new product idea is put forward and throughout the product development process.

Give everyone in your organization who is involved in new product innovation, whether they are technical, operational, financial, or from other departments, ‘a market mind-set’ so that they consider the market implications at each stage of the development process.

This will give them the ability to challenge and question new product ideas constructively, so that they can select the right products to bring to market and reject ideas that are likely to fail.

Identify early in the innovation process what the ‘market-key-success-factors’ are. These are the things that you will have to achieve in the market for your new product to succeed. If you cannot achieve them, no matter how good your product is, it will not be a success in the market.

Then look inward at your company’s capabilities, to decide whether you have the right resources, people and processes to achieve each of those ‘market-key-success-factors’ that you identified. If you don’t have them, how will you succeed in the market? Maybe this is the wrong product that you are developing, or the wrong market to enter.

Ensure that every potential new product that you are considering bringing to market, is put through a rigorous screening program, which includes a detailed ‘business-case’. The ‘business-case’ should be written and should be heavily focused on the market justification for introducing the new product.

Make sure that there is a ‘Go to Market Strategy’, that is illustrated and which can be explained to all those involved, so that they can clearly understand it and question it constructively to ensure it is logical and credible.

Then construct a workable ‘product marketing plan’ and throw it open to the product development team and to those who are required to implement it. Invite them to challenge it and modify it where necessary.

As you can see, there are some very important issues that need to be considered, to reduce the risk of bringing the wrong products to market and to ensure that new products are marketed correctly.

These issues are particularly important for innovation in the Middle East, where the future economy depends on innovating new products that can be marketed successfully in the region and also in markets globally.  

Asking the right questions

Selective innovation is essential and it requires everyone involved in innovation, regardless of their role, to adopt ‘a market mind-set’ that will enable them to challenge new product ideas and continuously ask questions such as:

Could this product idea be successful in the market? Would it provide superior value to customers? Would customers be prepared to pay for it? How much would they pay for it? How many customers are there? Would competitors be able to replicate it? What is the potential market life-span of this product? What factors might cause the market for the product to grow or shrink?

To address the above issues and empower all those who are involved in innovation in the Middle East, CIM have developed a course designed to increase the success rate of new products by applying ‘a market mind-set’ to innovation.

It is designed to achieve five key outcomes.

  1. Give all those in product development teams the ability to consider and challenge new product ideas from a market point of view
  2. Enable them to select those ideas which are most likely to succeed in the market
  3. Enable them to design and justify a ‘business-case’ together, from a market point of view
  4. Empower them to construct a credible ‘Go to Market Strategy’
  5. Give them the ability to construct a ‘product marketing plan’ for a new product and implement it

To find our more details or to book on the course click here.