Idea Generation is the first stage of the NPD process.

Much like baking a cake, the finished product can only be as good as the ingredients used.

An NPD process devoid of customer oriented ideas cannot expect to eventuate in a successful product launch. Alternatively an NPD funnel populated with ideas which focus on solving a specific set of customer problems has a far higher likelihood of generating a positive new product outcome.

But where do good ideas come from?

Organisations use a variety of idea generation techniques to populate the NPD funnel, all of which vary in effectiveness and popularity. Most research concurs that external idea generation such as Voice-of-Customer or VOC research techniques engender a much greater level of new product success than internal idea capture methods. At IMS, we work with you to select and execute the most appropriate idea generation techniques for your business type, innovation budget and strategic direction.

Idea Generation Techniques

Open Innovation

Firms engaged in open innovation work in partnership with external associates including inventors, universities, scientists, suppliers, research centres start-ups, investors as well as customers to populate the NPD funnel with as many high potential product ideas as possible.  The initial challenge for most firms is to identify the correct external partners to collaborate with. The IMS team will assist you to develop connections between your internal team and suitable external partners and will facilitate collaborative brainstorming sessions using a wide variety of idea generation techniques to capture all possible NPD ideas for progress into the next new product development funnel.


In recent research studies Voice-of-Customer research techniques have performed far above all other idea generation methods both in terms of popularity and effectiveness. Voice-of-Customer research is the in depth process of gathering customer expectations and requirements with the objective of inspiring new product ideas to satisfy currently unmet customer needs. Skilled IMS researchers utilise various Voice-of-Customer techniques to ensure you gain intimate knowledge of your customer’s preferences and aversions including:

  • Focus Groups
  • Customer Site Visits
  • Lead User Analysis
  • In depth Interviews
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Customer Brainstorming

Case Studies

To find out about the work that we do for our New Product Development clients, visit our comprehensive case studies section to read more. 

Are you interested in our New Product Development Services?

Contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of our specialist team.