You're considering a new product, but you're not sure if it's feasible.
This article briefly explores what a feasibility study is, and how it differs from a case study.
What is a feasibility study in the context of new product development?
A feasibility study is an investigation to define how practical it would be to introduce a new product or service. A feasibility study typically involves collecting and assessing information about the relevant market, customers, technology, manufacturing costs and other factors that contribute to the success of the project. The main goal of a feasibility study is to determine if the product or service idea is marketable and economical, then to come up with recommendations for further action.
What is a case study in the context of new product development?
A case study looks at how an existing company has been dealing with particular issues around their customers, how they market their product or service, how they set prices, what channels of distribution they use and other related matters. It is a study of their current state with no attempt to change it.
When should you conduct a feasibility study?
A feasibility study is useful when the organization is considering introducing new products or services that are different from existing ones in some significant way. If the differences are major, a feasibility study should be conducted to assess how well those products or services could be received by the market. A feasibility study can also be helpful for assessing a new product idea that has been generated primarily from within an organization and not as a result of interaction with prospects and customers.
When should you conduct a case study?
A case study is useful when the organization has a well-defined product or service and wants to learn more about how their customers use it, what other needs it should be meeting, where else there might be potential for growth, etc. If conducted with an appropriate depth of insight, past performance can be used to predict future sales opportunities.
Examples of when each document would be used
Examples of new product feasibility studies are, "The market is too small to have an impact", "We don't have the resources to achieve our goals", or "we can't find a way to produce this product at a low enough cost."
Examples of case studies are, "I would like to know more about the sales of this product in my region", "We've heard about some new product ideas from our customers and I'd like to know how realistic they are.", or "We want to address some new market segments with additional products."