INTRODUCTION

New product development has been defined by Meybodi (2003); Nadeem et. al (2011) as “a process in which first the needs and wants of customers are determined and according to those needs and wants the new products are tailored”. This means that in order to development a new product extensive market evaluation should be taken into consideration and more research on the product and customers attitudes toward the new product must be given appropriate attention, therefore a new product can be defined as a good business idea that has appeared to be new to potential customers (Kotler & Armstrong 2005). In today’s business world new product can be achieved through modification or improvements from the existing ones, this is because we are living in the period where globalization is at its highest point therefore there is numerous change in systems and technology which makes product modification and improvement more simple. Mark Twain acknowledges that “the secret of making progress is to get started. The secret to starting is to divide your complex, overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then start the first, hence this quote supports Crawford and Di Benedetto (2008) New Product Process of launching a new product which are; Opportunity Identification and Selection, Concept Generation, Concept/Project Evaluation, Development and Launch. For our product to be successful we are working on a motto which says “we are stronger when we stand together as a team and work together by giving support and encouragement to each other”.

OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFICATION AND SELECTION PROJECT PROPOSAL
The identification of opportunities has been recognised as one of the most important abilities of successful entrepreneurs and consequently has become an important element in the various scholarly studies (Ardichvili, Cardozo and Ray, 2003).This clearly highlights the vital significance of identifying opportunities for new products. For our group this process of

spotting and discovering new market needs occurred via the process of brainstorming. A notion often defined as a process for developing creative solutions to problems (Osborn, 1963).At first stage our group met and discussed the assignment key points and then dispersed when each individual was assigned to go and think of a product will meet a need and fill in a gap in a market. We later on gathered again where each individual member of our group shared the idea they propose for the assignment. All ideas were welcomed at first no criticism of other members ideas was done. So we came up a selection of products we are willing to develop and the ones that will not cause any constraints as we proceed with our product development.

A list of various products which were brought up include the un-plaiting hair machine, Outdoor clothes dryer rack, wet cotton ear buds, multi compartments
headlights and in-built blackberry battery. The un-plaiting hair machine was a machine which will enable Africans to undo their hair extensions and braids with ease while saving time. The outdoor clothes dryer rack on the other hand was aluminium steel handmade outdoor clothes dryer with multiple rack layers for a more efficient way of drying clothes. Moreover wet cotton ear buds are for the removal of ear wax efficiently and with ease without exposing customers to risk of injury as they are furthermore medicated. , Multi compartments headlights will serve as a medium for enabling drivers to detect objects at a far distance and alert the driver to take cautionary measures so as to avoid collisions. Lastly the in-built blackberry battery will be designed to sustain the longevity of the phone battery while saving costs at the same time. After this we settled and selected three products which had the potential to be developed based on their feasibility features, the gap in the market and whether it will be possible to produce the product. These products include wet cotton ear buds, multi compartments

headlights and in-built blackberry battery; afterwards we took these products and

consulted our teacher Dr Cheah for an overview and insightful advices so as to see if we were in the right track. We took his realm of input into consideration and assigned each group member a product to focus on and further more research any relevant information that will contribute to the success of our new product development. PRELIMINARY CONCEPT SELECTION AND SCHEDULE

SCORING TABLE Evaluation Criteria

In-built Black- Wet Cotton Berry battery buds

ear- Adaptive illumination Headlights 4 8 4 7 2 7 8 40%

Marketability Competitors Market size Placing Need Viability Risk Technology Total score

7 5 6 6 5 9 7 45%

6 10 10 10 10 4 8 58%

Evaluation scale: (0-10; 1 = lowest, 10 = highest)
Our group went through a preliminary assessment of the five products that we had come up with to develop in the market so that we can identify those that have more viability, marketability, the technology to produce them, and whether they have a market need. In this event, the group went through product screening whereby it is a process of filtering or screening new product developments before they enter the stage-gate process and start to consume significant resources. The Stage-Gate process was created by Dr. Robert Cooper and is a method described by Cooper and Kleinshmidt of a systematic moving of a new product through various stages from the screening process to product launch [online source, 2012].

During idea screening the objective is to eliminate unsound concepts prior to devoting resources to them. Several questions we as the group asked ourselves during this process include: Will the customer in the target market benefit from the product? What is the size and growth forecasts of the market segment/target market?

What is the current or expected competitive pressure for the product idea? What are the industry sales and market trends the product idea is based on? Is it technically feasible to manufacture the product?

Will the product be profitable when manufactured and delivered to the customer at the target price?

At first, our results were based on all the five products that the group had initially brainstormed upon. This is to say that, during the screening process, the group considered all five product from the beginning; the products being: The built-in battery for blackberry phones Wet cotton ear buds Hair/braid un-plaiting machine for African hair Outdoor clothes dryer rack Adaptive illumination headlights for automobiles

By applying the screening model, the group was able to categorize and determine an overall rating for the ability to develop and launch a new product successfully. From the five products we initially had, we reduced them down to three (through screening), into those that were most likely to be marketable and feasible according to the market needs and the available technology to produce them. Among the three products that had been filtered from the initial five, we then again reached another conclusion to choose the best product to produce out of them. From the three: Blackberry in-built battery Adaptive illumination headlights for automobiles and Wet cotton ear buds,

we categorized them again into the least feasible and the most feasible, meaning that we considered things like actualization, the current technology that is available in the market and those other options that would help us in producing the product. This led us to conclude and choose to develop the wet cotton ear buds because we saw it as most feasible and would likely to be better marketed.

Finally, we designed a Gantt chart to show our plans of action to complete the project over twelve weeks. During the course of associating a plan of action, determining the market need for the most feasible product that we chose will be done through the use of questionnaires. In this case, questionnaires will be distributed out to the raw market that has not yet been exposed to the new product to find out how they respond to it.

GANTT-CHART

CONCEPT GENERATION
According to Sander and Brombacher (2000) “To create a concept/ idea during product development is quite challenging therefore a five-step method steps needs to be followed.” The model has five steps and the first thing to consider when creating an idea is to clarify the problem, then search internally, externally, explore systematically and lastly reflect on the solution and problem. Therefore at this stage of the new product development we came up with three products that are feasible and can be viable in the market.