The process, dubbed Rapid-Access, was developed as a faster and more cost-efficient means to bring new products to market. 'The traditional approach to new product development is inefficient,' said Primo Angeli, chairman and creative director of the firm. 'With a failure rate exceeding 80%, it also is too costly.'
The agency first meets with the client to get an understanding of the business, invents a selection of line-extension ideas and develops packages and brand names for them. The best of the group is then tested with consumers, and the most effective packages are then turned over to the company's R&D team to create the actual product.
Angeli said the process significantly reduces costs by bringing the consumer in at an early stage before the heaviest investments are made in new product development. Companies using Rapid-Access include Foote, Cone & Belding, Miller Brewing Co. and the Continental Baking Co.
The idea, he said, is to avoid preconceived limitations on new product exploration and consider any thing that could extend from a company's natural strength.
In the case of the upscale San Francisco bakery Just Desserts, Primo Angeli worked up a whole line of products ranging from chocolate cake ice cream to extracts, even though the company's products had been previously limited to baked goods.
'The idea of validating the brand and package first 'cuts to the chase' when compared to the traditional way new products are developed,' said Bonnie Portnoy, general manager of Just Desserts.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)