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Product Innovation

Product Innovation
The Realm of Product Innovation A manufacturer or a service provider, who aspires to be successful in a business market, must indulge himself in research, pertaining to consumer preference as well as the various stages of a product life cycle. This will give him a better chance to make his future decisions concerning the product and also the wisdom to evolve strategies accordingly. Developing a product and introducing it into the market demands certain amount of forethought and prudence. The first step is to study the market, to understand consumer preference as well as to gauge whether your product will be appealing to the customers existing in that market. The prerequisite for this would be market segmentation, that is to statistically estimate the demographic quotient (people belonging to different age groups and ethnic societies) of the sample population and decide on the customers whom you want to target. A product’s success depends mainly on two things: 1) Innovation-lateral thinking, by which you let loose of all your unorthodox methods and stick onto some novel ideas of marketing. 2) Customer-oriented marketing rather than product oriented. This customer oriented concept is advocated by modern marketing consultants and it has proven to be a fantastic proposition. More than the actual product, people like to know more about the values that they obtain out of that product. The secret behind success will be to hit the right note, by propagating more about the value added services that go with the product. Expectations Created by the Product When a product is introduced in a market, say, automobiles for example, since every tom, dick and harry is fond of cars and bikes and they talk a lot about it. It is looked upon by prospective customers with great expectations, which might be due to the great hype created by the manufacturer through advertisements in electronic media, papers and magazines. The product as it hits the market will instantaneously make it big, if it has the right mix of intangible and augmented benefits that make customers happy and they feel that they have bought something worth the money paid for. A luxury car is well received by the market, irrespective of the price tag that is stuck to it, just because of the value added benefits such as, delicacy, great speed, high-performance, safety, insurance and warranty. Product Pre-Launch Analysis Before launching a product, industry analysis is a must, as various similar products might exist and it comes to the question of how different and appealing your product is, for market acceptance. Even minor things can make a big difference, say, for instance, if you are able to float the cheapest car, in terms of price but with great fuel efficiency, the results are obvious. The strategy would be to introduce innovations not only in your product but also in your thinking. Best products emerge as a result of tuning in your wavelength with that of the consumers’. Product Life Cycle A product gets introduced, grows, matures, stabilises and slowly withers off, just like a human being. No man is eternal and so is a product. You may argue that some products are in the limelight for more than their share of lifetime. If you keenly observe, that would have been the result of makeover changes to the product in lieu of the change in people’s liking and analysis of market trend. Some products have a second chance to prove their mettle. They go into hibernation for a while and then re-enter when market conditions seems to be favorable. The perspective from which you look at the life cycle of a product may cast a different idea...
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Capital Structure Makeup

Capital Structure Makeup
What is your Capital Structure Make up A company in course of charting out its financial schema has to take into account two things. 1) The amount of capital to be raised. 2) Make-up of the capital. Decisions regarding the composition or capitalization are reflected in capital structure. Capital structure of a firm is a combination of debt and equity, which supports long term financing of the firm. The pattern of capital structure has to be planned very carefully by the finance manager in such a way that it minimizes the cost of capital and maximizes value of stocks, thus protecting the interest of the share holders. What is the right capital mix? There needs to be a right mix of different securities in total cpaitalisation that facilitates control, flexibility and maneuverability. From a broad perspective, following are the three fundamental ways in which the schema of capital structure is finalized: Financing purely or exclusively by equity Financing by equity and preferred stock Financing by equity, preferred stocks and bonds. Which of the above most suits a firm depends on multifarious internal and external factors within which a firm operates. Equity: A firm can raise substantially large amount of fund by issuing different types of shares. The money thus raised is a permanent source of resource and without any obligation to refund to the respective owners. Small and growing companies go for equity fund raising as no banks or other financial institutions are prepared to fund these firms in lieu of poor credit worthiness. Even big corporate firms opt for issuing equities when there is a need to raise large sums. But smaller firms, whose major share of capital comprises of common stock, have to be careful, in that, some large concerns might become interested in controlling these stocks. The one big advantage of equity shareholders is that they are free to trade the shares in the market. They can sell the shares to anybody at any time and if the market warrants, at a higher price. One has really nothing to lose, if he is planning to invest in equities. On the other hand, if the company goes bankrupt, the share holders stand a chance to receive only the residual amount, after the creditors’ claims are cleared and satisfied. Debt: Debt has a maturity date upon which the stipulated sum of principal is repaid. It places the burden of obligation on the shoulders of the company in the form of periodical interest settlements and principal repayments. Creditors can go for legal action if the company defaults in payment of the assured sum on the specific date. That’s why companies think twice before they go for issuing debentures and other bonds. One good thing for the company is that, it can avail tax rebate on the securities of debt, but at the other end it has to satisfy the interest payments and factorise the cost of capital. Cost and Control Principles Cost principle supports induction of additional doses of debt, but it might prove risky, if the company is not able to service the additional debt. Control principle supports the issue of bonds in order to tighten the rein of ownership, but maneuverability principle discounts this and favors issue of common stock to reduce the interest burden. Four factors are important in the purview of the finance manager, cost, risk, control and timing. He should be able to evolve a pattern that satisfactorily brings a compromise among these conflicting factors, which are then assigned weights in the wake of economic and industrial...
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