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Product Differentiation Bootcamp
October 30 - November 1, 2000 - Chicago

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Bootcamp Experts

Conference Chairman
Peter Marks—Managing Director, Design Insight

Co-founder of the APEX (American Product Excellence) Awards, author, nationally recognized product development expert

"After the hoopla about the Web has subsided, we’ll realize that the battle has always been (and still is) about differentiation. Traditional companies that have learned to leverage their strengths via the Web will be as strong or stronger than before. They’ll vie with differentiated e-upstarts for market leadership. Undifferentiated companies, regardless of their pre-e or post-e origins, will be in dismal shape."

Peter Marks will set the stage for the Bootcamp, guide you through the two days, and will wrap it all up for us at the end.

Robert McMath—President, The New Products Showcase and
Learning Center, Inc., co-author, What Were They Thinking?

Historically 8 out of 10 new consumer products fail after introduction in the American market. Some analysts believe the percentage of failure has climbed to 94%.

Looking back at some of the most spectacular new product winners and failures can be very valuable, though companies tend to bury their mistakes. Studying examples with a "hands-on" approach and seeking to understand "What Were They Thinking?" can offer a new perspective in successful product development.

McMath will discuss why so many new products fail — me-too’s being a primary reason – and how you can avoid a similar fate.

Jerry Gregoire—Former senior VP and CIO, Dell Computer

"Thanks to what the Internet is doing to price transparency, products are commodities and if you can think of some that aren’t, just wait a couple of days… Time will be the key differentiator in the customer experience, and executing tasks in zero time will be the benchmark for organizations that hope to compete in a commoditized universe."

Jerry will discuss "Differentiate in Zero Time: The Difference is in the Business Model"

Ping Fu—Chief Technology Officer, Raindrop Geomagic, Inc.

With choice playing such a critical role in consumer-buying habits, mass customization is becoming increasingly evident in day-to-day life. When combined with the very latest digital technology, such as 3D photography, computer-aided design and rapid manufacturing, mass customization not only benefits the consumer, but it offers the manufacturer significant benefits as well: a high degree of product/service flexibility, reduced inventory risk and a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Ping Fu will discuss the latest 3D photography technology that is powering mass customization. Web visualization demonstrations for e-commerce and build-to-order examples for custom manufacturing will also be provided

Bryan Nesbitt—Manager of Advanced Design, DaimlerChrysler

Can a hot selling product be planned or does it just happen? How much can be attributed to design and aesthetics? Price? Understanding the psychology of customers? Timing?

Bryan Nesbitt will discuss "Launching Chrysler’s PT Cruiser: A Hot Rod Leads to Hot Sales"

Julie McEntee—Director of Business Development, Adobe Systems

In 1993, Adobe Systems, well known in the $300B worldwide publishing industry , launched a revolutionary new product, Adobe Acrobat, which enabled the creation and distribution of electronic documents, well ahead of email pervasiveness and even the internet boom itself. Market reception was mixed, from 'huh?' to 'Brilliant vision'.

Ms. McEntee will discuss the series of challenges and strategies which led to the phenomenal success of Adobe Acrobat as one of the world's best known internet brands with over 165M Acrobat Readers worldwide in 20 languages.

Elissa Lee—Research and Innovation, Casio U.S. R&D; & Dev Patnaik—Jump Associates

Where do great products come from? This question has become even more clouded and urgent in the age of the Internet. Casio has had to redefine its products in a newly connected environment.

Lee and Patnaik’s presentation, "Browsing the Web Through Your Toaster and Other Misnomers" will describe the journey that Casio has taken to ensure its watches and keyboards are still relevant in an era of Palm Pilots and MP3 players.

Betsy Westlake—Feminine Care Research, Kimberley Clark

In the race for market share consumer softgoods companies have launched an ever expanding array of life-enhancing products. However, retail shelf space to display these products is limited and consumer overload is growing. Differentiation allows tough choices to be successfully made.

Betsy will share how Kimberly Clark ensures its share of shelf space.

Harry West—PhD, Director of Research & Innovation, Continuum

Nowhere is differentiation more vital for leading marketers than in low price point product lines. This is where knockoffs and knockdowns can bite into market share. Differentiation through product innovation is the only effective insulation.

Harry will tell how the project morphed from protecting Master Lock from cheap knockoffs to reinventing the seemingly unchangeable padlock.

John D’Alessandro—Business Intelligence Manager, Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies has recently completed an opportunity assessment project that has looked comprehensively, and measurably, at the needs of its traditional R&D customer. This outcome-based assessment was carried out within a highly structured process called Market Driven Product Definition©, and it yielded a prioritized set of product-independent requirements to manage the internal development investment portfolio and direct acquisition and partnership strategy.

John will describe the prioritization process and its results.

Roy Schumacher—Vice President of Marketing, Unity Systems

The Internet presents an enormous opportunity to bridge products and services. Unity Systems has developed unique "smart home" technology, but sees the real potential in offering new services.

Roy will discuss how he and his group approach product/service differentiation in this emerging market.

Additional Information Resources

Differentiation in the e-World
Click above to download a copy of conference chairman Peter Marks' white paper, as mentioned in CAE magazine.

Or, read the 2-part summarized version from Product Development Best Practices Report:

Differentiation in the e-World - Summary Article - Part 1
Differentiation in the e-World - Summary Article - Part 2

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