How to Make your Prototype a Winning Product

Exploring the 5 Challenges of Product Innovation


With competition in the globalized marketplace intensifying more and more every day, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies have been hit with increased demand for product innovation to enhance brand equity and differentiation and drive consumer loyalty.

But developing the next revolutionary product line isn’t as simple as televisions shows like Shark Tank make it seem. Behind these rare instances of success trail a preponderance of prototype failures. The rate of success is in fact so marginal that most products never even make it past the drawing board.

Did you know: More than 95% percent of prototype formulations end up failing?

This probably makes you wonder what those 5% of winning products did that the others didn’t. Let’s take a look at the key challenges responsible for keeping most products from achieving success – and discover how the winning 5% are able to power through them.

1) Avoiding Regulatory Setbacks while Shortening ‘Time-to-Market’

One of the key root causes of a company’s failure to deliver a product to market is its inability to sustain regulatory compliance. More often than not, brand and contract manufacturers manage compliancy using incongruent tools and isolated processes that make it nearly impossible to monitor developmental progress let alone adhere to evolving parameters. When it comes to regulation, successful product engineers understand the importance of being prepared for government inspection.

Failing to meet operating standards could mean delays in product release times or (in drastic cases) being forced to recall an entire product line. In an industry as fierce as CPG, manufacturers can’t afford to put up with costly launch delays. To avoid speed bumps along the innovation race, manufacturers must make every effort to prevent falling victim to non-compliance, or risk losing their pace.

Successful R&D organizations are equipped with tools like regulatory documentation management systems that perform continuous evaluation on material compliance and alert manufacturing teams to potential regulatory infringements. These systems ensure the quick adaptation of global formulas to protect against the negative ramifications of non-compliance. Proactive brand manufacturers using intelligent regulatory systems, can spend less time managing compliance data…and more time on product innovation.

2) Making Inaccessible Information, Accessible

Aside from regulatory failures, delayed product test results ultimately prevent many innovators from finding the right ingredients for their new product recipe. The changing landscape of regulation makes the accessibility to direct information no easy task for product engineers managing multiple development projects. An organization’s agility and capacity for collaboration are the deciding factors in determining who wins the race for new product delivery.

Creating the Perfect Product is a team effort – between marketing, R&D, legal, regulatory, purchasing and manufacturing teams. Effectively managing a collaborative joint effort across multiple silos and channels is where almost all product innovation organizations come up short and become disoriented. Smart innovators understand that the access to product information across all channels of the manufacturing organization is imperative for maximizing operational efficiency throughout the product development process.

To address this need, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies rely on platforms with collaborative project management capabilities to increase productivity for new formulation creation by linking ongoing project and program execution with continuously-updated information in real-time. Maintaining relevancy and accuracy across all fields eliminates time-consuming protocols and formulation redundancy, provides stronger management over outcomes and leverages findings from research and testing.

Making strategic resource planning easier and more flexible empowers CPG brand and contract manufacturers to learn and implement practices most conducive to innovation. Equipped with the capability to recycle discoveries from past projects, this enhanced visibility of asset information allows product engineers to optimize time and resources as they continuously formulate and track their progress.

3) Expanding Formula Design Efforts without Increasing Resources

In an industry dealing with intricate recipes and powerful ingredients, R&D organizations in the CPG & Retail industry have one main focus when it comes to formula design – delivering the product promise which maximizes consumer satisfaction and drives usage and loyalty. A successful consumer product experience stems directly from a product’s performance, and hence, the product formula.

The delivery of an effective formula design calls for continuous innovation of product composition. Formulators need greater visibility from a material perspective – a robust management solution that manages the components required for the product formula while leveraging the most efficient use of resources at hand.

With the means to perform cost optimization on potential product compositions, CPG formulators can secure the knowledge to make optimal material choices during the early phases of the innovation process to satisfy the marketing requirements of ever-changing consumer trends.

4) Planning for Product Launch while Remaining Adaptable

A sharp brand manufacturer will tell you that ‘a clear strategy’ is the key when looking to create a new product formula. Masterminds behind successful new product creations are forward-thinking – they exploit repositories of market trends and collaborate with contract manufacturers and formulators to identify new materials and ingredients.

To interpret consumer needs, effective R&D teams rely heavily on software platforms that convert high volumes of quantitative and qualitative data into informative intelligence that can be used to make faster strategic decisions required for an optimal product launch. By monitoring consumer feedback and competitor activities, CPG brand and contract manufacturers can remain agile as they execute the product development process.

5) Re-using Formula Structures while Maintaining Quality

The agility doesn’t stop there. Winning innovators in the CPG industry attribute their product successes to their ability to leverage the lessons learned from previous failures. A pivotal advantage in formula creation is the ability to create and conduct virtual experiments to explore the boundaries of design possibilities – experiments that would be difficult, time-consuming and expensive to test physically.

Having a product specification management system to store simulated master data and formulations provides a secure, version-controlled, central repository for all formula and varying product information within the enterprise. This process empowers the organization with maximum engineering capacity and extends the value of its acquired knowledge across global channels.

As a result, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies have the ability to respond to changing adaptations more quickly and deliver products to market faster while optimizing re-use of information to reduce formulation costs. Creating greater visibility and stronger infrastructure from digital collaboration of product design information saves time and resources while fostering product success replication throughout new formula creation.

How Information Management Empowers Future Design

Creating a marketable product is only half of the formula for achieving maximum brand loyalty. Delivering a product whose quality and performance exceeds consumer expectation is the other half. Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail companies need the means to accelerate the product development process while, at the same time, operating to reduce risk and improve productivity.

To ensure success, product formulators require a solution which allows them to address all of these challenges comprehensively, without falling short in one area in order to fulfill another. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, the Perfect Product industry solution experience provides R&D teams with an all-encompassing tool to tackle each of these objectives:

  • Understanding consumer needs to meet marketing objectives
  • Designing and testing formula efficacy and manufacturability
  • Optimizing product cost using raw materials substitutions
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance and market performance analysis

When prototypes fail, Perfect Product has the answers.

With access to a collaborative digital innovation platform, CPG and contract manufacturer innovators can develop the high-performing formulas required to deliver the product promise that fuels the consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty they seek to attain. The benefits of Perfect Product extend far beyond departmental productivity – it’s a value-creating asset essential to successful innovation throughout enterprise.

Interested in learning more about how Perfect Product is redefining product lines? Click here to learn more.

Perfect Product industry solution experience, powered by Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE® platform enables Beauty, Healthcare and Household brand and contract manufacturers to manage new product development efforts in a holistic and collaborative way to balance Cost, Regulatory and Quality and drive business success.