It is not suitable to apply characteristics used in service industries such as intangibility, simultaneity, heterogeneity, or perishability when analyzing financial products. When considering the property of media, financial products are intangible, although durable. Therefore, financial products are designed beforehand, and knowledge of product development research is applicable. Further, in financial product development, lead-time reduction and communication are even more critical than tangible products.
The “experience curve" used to be treated as a rule of thumb in strategic management theory. However, it would be hasty to conclude that an approximately 80% log-linear experience curve is a rule of thumb regardless of the industry, company, or product. According to the fundamental research on learning curves, generally, the new model of a product is partly composed of old model parts and we cannot observe the progress of these parts from the beginning of the processes. Therefore, in the first product of the new model, the learning rates of old model parts cannot be identical logically, even if the parts' learning rates are identical at the beginning. In fact, empirical data repeatedly deny identical learning rates for all products. Applying search theory, we obtain an approximate log-linear learning curve and show the curve's initial concavity, that is, if we started observing the progress midstream, and not from the beginning of the process. Thus, both varied learning rate proper to each product and initial concavity of the learning curve are phenomena induced by observing the progress midstream.
The customers of industrial goods are not consumers but companies having expert knowledge. Therefore, a conventional idea appeals a stereotyped pattern that the product development process of industrial goods should conform to the expert customers' needs. However, our research on the Japanese chemical industry showed that this product development pattern is familiar to failed projects rather than to successful ones. In the successful projects, product developers directly contact the consumers—“customer's customer"—for latent needs. Based on their anticipation of these latent needs, the product developers propose new product concepts to their customers. In fact, cases of such successful projects exist. This paper generalizes the “customer's customer" strategy from this successful pattern.
This paper discusses the immature brand management in electronic retail stores in Vietnam by conducting field research. Previous studies have suggested that Japanese companies find themselves in a predicament with other emerging markets, mainly because their products are relatively high in price. This paper presents the findings that such a predicament results from not only high pricing but also local stores' inabilities of underlining the high quality and functions of high-priced products. Therefore, to become successful, Japanese companies are required to lower their product prices as well as increase awareness and accurate understanding of the high quality and functions of the high-priced products using their sales channels.
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