How could this basic product be changed?
Attribute Listing, Morphological Analysis and Matrix Analysis are good techniques for finding new combinations of products or services. They are sufficiently similar to be discussed together. We use Attribute Listing and Morphological Analysis to generate new products and services.
To use the techniques, first list the attributes of the product, service or strategy you are examining. Attributes are parts, properties, qualities or design elements of the thing being looked at. For example, attributes of a pencil would be shaft material, lead material, hardness of lead, width of lead, quality, color, weight, price, and so on. A television plot would have attributes such as characters, actions, locations, and weather. For a marketing strategy you might use attributes of markets open to you, uses of the product, and skills you have available.
Draw up a table using these attributes as column headings. Write down as many variations of the attribute as possible within these columns. This might be an exercise that benefits from brainstorming. The table should now show all possible variations of each attribute.
Now select one entry from each column. Either do this randomly or select interesting combinations. By mixing one item from each column, you will create a new mixture of components. This is a new product, service or strategy.
Finally, evaluate and improve that mixture to see if you can imagine a profitable market for it.
Imagine that you want to create a new lamp. The starting point for this might be to carry out a morphological analysis. Properties of a lamp might be power supply, bulb type, light intensity, size, style, finish, material, shade, and so on.
You can set these out as column headings on a table, and then brainstorm variations. This table is sometimes known as a "Morphologial Box" or "Zwicky Box" after the scientist Fritz Zwicky, who developed the technique in the 1960s.
|Power Supply||Bulb Type||Light Intensity||Size||Style||Finish||Material|
Interesting combinations might be:
Some of these might be practical, novel ideas for the lighting manufacturer. Some might not. This is where the manufacturer's experience and market knowledge are important.
Morphological Analysis, Matrix Analysis and Attribute Listing are useful techniques for making new combinations of products, services and strategies.
You use the tools by identifying the attributes of the product, service or strategy you are examining. Attributes might be components, assemblies, dimensions, color, weight, style, speed of service, skills available, and so on.
Use these attributes as column headings. Underneath the column headings list as many variations of that attribute as you can.
You can now use the table or "morphological box", by randomly selecting one item from each column, or by selecting interesting combinations of items. This will give you ideas that you can examine for practicality.
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