There are a number of different strategies for developing new products. Dimensional analysis involves studying the attributes of existing products and learning how they can be changed to improve performance. This can be a great strategy that leads to superior and more profitable products. The drawback is that dimensional analysis by itself is not a catalyst for true innovation and is only beneficial if its leads to products that are valuable to the customers and subsequently improve the profitability of the organization.
The best strategies for product innovation focus on understanding the needs of the customers and doing everything possible to address them. Existing products are sometimes incapable of addressing the demands of their users. A common mistake companies make is that they try to be different while still maintaining the status quo. It involves thinking a little outside the box, but sometimes not enough to better address the customers’ needs. Instead of using the dimensional analysis approach to improve an existing product that may never satisfy customers’ demands, companies should consider developing an entirely new product.
Dimensional analysis also focuses on making improvements that may not improve profitability, even if the revised product seems to have a practical value to its customers. If they do not first research customer needs and preferences, businesses may be making incorrect assumptions about what they need to do to develop new products that are going to be successful. This is a mistake that can be made by both marketing and technical employees.
Dimensional analysis is still a valuable product development strategy. Through a better understanding of how customer needs are being satisfied by existing products, marketers and engineers can work together to identify features that may be altered to make products more successful. Innovation requires both an understanding of the technology behind the product and the behavior and needs of customers. This is a principle that is sometimes forgotten by smaller companies led by managers from a purely technical background.