Since the product had passed the concept phase, the product development phase converts it into a physical entity. This step involved a considerable jump in investment over the other phases. This included detailed product, process design, and quality standards, product and process documentation. A prototype of the concept was developed. An external design studio was used to make a design that was aesthetically and visually appealing to the targeted buyer segment. There was some trepidation, as this stage will determine whether this idea could be translated into a technically and commercially feasible product.
If it cannot, the accumulated project cost will be lost except for valuable learning and the whole idea would have been scrapped. The Sony spherical speaker came out as a finished product able to deliver greatly on the requirements. The prototypes were put under rigorous functional and customer testing. The product performed well to the management’ s satisfaction in functional and psychological testing. It was now ready to be dressed, packaged, branded and market-tested. Market testing Now the speaker was ready to be tested. A pilot test drive was decided to be launched in London and Paris.
These cities were chosen because the demographics had a large base of the target consumer profile, heavy users of the iPod and early adopters of the new products. A sales force went all out to sell the product and give it a good exposure ably supported by the advertising and promotional campaign. The retail stores carried the product out front and gave it a good point of display. The timing was crucial. The product was test launched just a few months before the Thanksgiving season that allowed the product visibility and sales to pick up before the actual season began.
Market testing was greatly successful and the Sony speaker sold a million units within the first month. The product was greatly acclaimed and accepted and received a good adoption among the target segment.
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