ASSESSMENT OF NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC
It is common knowledge to see a lot of organisational resources committed into product ideas that have not undergone proper research, especially market based research. As a result, it is either that the product fails out rightly or gains marginal success. No wonder we have so many of such product wasting in the market places begging for demand. When a product idea carries a weight of benefits to give to the market even the market will be anxious waiting for it to be launched. Besides proper research into developing a quality product, there is also the need for a wide range of management activities of the product from its conception to maturity or until it is being disposed such management activities include providing appropriate strategies for pricing, promotion, distribution as well as on-going support to customers who have purchased the new product pertinent to the above the study aimed at assessing new product development and management in Nigeria. However the following objectives were formulated: To determine the relationship between marketing research and new product development; To determine how new product development influences customer satisfaction and retention; To determine the impact of technology, skilled manpower on new product development; To identify critical factors, both marketing and otherwise for new product success or failure and To identify the impact of new product development on profitability of an organisation. The study had a population of 44. The descriptive survey design was adopted for the study while chi-square was used to test the hypotheses. The findings showed that there is relationship between marketing research and new product development. Also new product development influence customer satisfaction and retention. Furthermore technology, skill manpower have impact on new product development and finally there is relationship between new product development and profitability. The study recommended that firms should periodically evaluate their product so that they will be able to be ahead of their competitors and make profit.