Today much more knowledge about what it takes to create a successful new product is available, yet four out of five new products still fail. This paper examines some of the possible reasons for this 'lack of progress' and makes a case that challenges not only the way that concepts are tested, but how they are created as well. The authors have developed a structure to create new product concepts, while simultaneously being able to evaluate them. Briefly, the authors have developed a Flash-enabled virtual testing application that enables consumers to create and evaluate product concepts created from sets of a few thousand possible product attribute combinations. The attribute combinations can be constrained in ways that make sense from a manufacturing or operational perspective. This innovative approach enables development of a variety of customer-focused marketing solutions. Though the approach may be experimental, the authors share real software, real data, and real results.
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