The best way for a business to thrive is either through expanding its product line, or through product innovation/ invention. Innovation-driven businesses-especially- must constantly innovate or upgrade their products in order to stay competitive. Innovation-driven businesses are entities known for their diligent entrepreneurial and pioneering activities, founded on new product/s (NPD) or service inventions.
Of the industries that fall into the category “innovators”- office equipment, cosmetics, computer software, food technology, telecommunications, customer service upgrades, gaming technology, and pharmaceuticals- are just a few.
Business leaders, within innovation-driven industries, understand all too well how important it is to have systematic methods of consumer intelligence gathering, and also a timely method of responding to the ever-changing needs of the customer-base, effectively preempting the competition. Therefore industry leaders have implemented “Commercialization” within their organizations, as they have determined that the traditional “Marketing” frame-work ‘does not fit’ a core business strategy dependent on New Product Development or emerging technologies.
The new method therefore is for a Commercialization department to be established; under which the traditional functions of a Marketing department would fall. Some innovators, however, either do not have a Commercialization department, or have not properly integrated the frame-work into the daily operations of their companies.
Paul Patterson, author of:”Beyond the Beaker – How to Achieve Successful Market Adoption for Emerging Technologies”, has experienced this phenomena first hand: “Many research facilities, universities and investors are developing commercialization departments in order to enable more effective market adoption of their emerging technologies. In most cases however, the commercialization system has been incorrectly adapted by these entities, as evidenced by their production flow charts that incorrectly represent commercialization as an arrow pointing to the word “Market”. These organizations are not aware that Commercialization is as equally complex a process as technology development.”
A correctly implemented Commercialization system is based on the following fundamentals:
1. Constantly update knowledge base with customer intelligence and paradigm shifts. Assess if the company has the skills, technology, accumulated experience, and methodologies to respond swiftly with product changes or NPD’s.
2. Companies could investigate how their business customers are creating value, and whether the competencies of the company allow the development of products that would be useful to their customers’ new value-creating direction.
3. The implementation of one of 2 product development approaches: “compression” or “experiential” strategy.
4. Considering off-shore sourcing for supplies and raw materials by setting up a manufacturing plant in the targeted country, could benefit profit margins, as well as relationships “all around”. A company might be able to negotiate tariff barriers by this move: by buying from local suppliers/ producers as well as offering employment opportunities will open the doors to further concessions within that country, and might improve the host country’s relations with the parent country.
Commercialization is truly a complex process as highlighted by Paul Patterson in “Beyond the Beaker – How to Achieve Successful Market Adoption for Emerging Technologies”. However if the process is properly implemented, commercialization could possibly improve the outlook of a global business venture.