Friday, April 6, 2012

Functional and Consumer Testing of Prototypes

Prototype is the physical model that captures the invention or development idea. It demonstrates the technical feasibility of the engineering idea. It may be based on a new scientific theory or an innovation based on existing scientific theories. Creation and innovation are based on combining two dissimilar ideas into a new product that creates value. Hence engineering creation can occur at any time based on existing scientific theories.

The prototype has to be subjected to functional testing and consumer testing. Functional tests are conducted in the laboratory setting and also in the field to make sure that the product performs effectively and safely. Kotler says, aircraft has to fly and a razor needs to cut hair. Once functional tests are successful, the prototype can be put in the hands of some potential consumers for their reactions to the product. By using the product, consumers understand the benefits that accrue to them because of the product and they may be able to indicate the price that they will be interested to pay for that product. This price can be used as the target price for the target costing exercise.

Philip Kotler, Marketing Management, 9 Edition, Pp.326-28

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