Commercialization is often confusedsales, marketing, or business development. The commercialization process has three key aspects:
- The funnel. It is essential to look at many ideas to get one or two products or businesses that can be sustained long-term.
- Commercialization is a stage-wise process, and each stage has its own key goals and milestones.
- It is vital to involve key stakeholders early, including customers.
Proposed commercialization of a product can raise the following questions:
- When to launch: Factors such as potential cannibalization of the sales of a vendor's other products, any requirement for further improvement of the proposed new product, or unfavorable market conditions may operate to delay a product launch.
- Where to launch: A potential vendor can start marketing in a single location, in one or several regions, or in a national or international market. Existing resources (in terms of capital, and operational capacities) and the degree of managerial confidence may strongly influence the proposed launch-mode. Smaller vendors usually launch in attractive cities or regions, while larger companies may enter a national market at once.
Global roll-outs generally remain the preserve of multinational conglomerates, since they have the necessary size and make use of international distribution systems (e.g., Unilever, Procter & Gamble). Other multinationals may use a "lead-country" strategy: introducing the new product in one country/region at a time (e.g. Colgate-Palmolive).
- Whom to target: Research- and test-marketing may identify a primary consumer group. The ideal primary consumer group should consist of innovators, early adopters, heavy users and/or opinion leaders. This will encourage adoption by other buyers in the market during the product-growth period.
- How to launch: Prospective vendors should decide on an action plan for introducing a proposed product - a plan shaped by addressing the questions above. The vendor has to develop a viable marketing-mix and to structure a corresponding marketing-budget.
- Jolly, Vijay K.(1997): Commercializing New Technologies: Getting from Mind to Market; Harvard Business School Press. [Note: a new edition was due in early 2009.]
Compare: Rafinejad, Dariush (2007). "5: The Product Development Process". Innovation, Product Development and Commercialization: Case Studies and Key Practices for Market Leadership. J. Ross Publishing Innovation Series. Fort lauderdale, Florida: J. Ross Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 9781932159707. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
Wheelwright and Clark, Iansiti, and Christensen have discussed a 'funnel' framework for product development. In the funnel framework [...] the market/competitor analysis, target customer needs, and technology assessment establish the basis for concept development - the first phase of the process. The next phase is the product/process design, which leads to the product launch and commercialization phase.
- Clemens, F. et al. (2003): Xelibri: A Siemens Mobile Adventure; case study of WHU School of Management, Vallendar, Germany; distributed by ECCH Collection, England and USA.
- Dibb, S. et al. (2001): Marketing – Concepts and Strategies; Fourth European Edition Houghton Mifflin; Boston.
- Jobber, D. (2001): Principles & Practice of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill; London.
- Kotler, P. et al. (1996): Principles of Marketing; Fourth European Edition Prentice Hall; Harlow (UK).
- Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L. (1999): Essentials of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill; London.
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