OTHER TOPICS AND DISCUSSIONS CAN BE FOUND BY GOING TO: PRINCE EXO3 BLOG
Here is a piece from the first installment - an interesting look at how racquets like the new EXO3
line get developed - from the person who manages performance racquet development at Prince:
Today will be the first installment of my weekly blog that will take us through the racquet development process. Today, we start at the beginning...with the new product brief or (NPB).
What is an NPB? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a strategic document that is written that specifically outlines the goal of a particular development process. This can and should include a variety of different aspects...
1. Target Consumer - Who is this racquet for? What type of player are they? What do they look for in a tennis racquet?
2. Line Positioning - Where does this racquet fit in the overall product line? Is this a new segment, or an update of an existing segment?
3. Target Retail Price - What is the target retail price?
4. Launch Timing - When will this racquet start shipping to the market?
5. Technical Specs - What are the spec targets for this racquet?
These are just a few of the many details that are considered even BEFORE we decide whether or not to move ahead on a project.
So, how do we answer all of the questions above? Well, it starts with you, the consumer. We do a lot of market research with a variety of different players from every region of the world. This includes the US, Europe, Middle East, South America, Asia/Pacific, etc...
We ask people specifically what they like and what they don't like about their own tennis racquets and how they would like to make them better. From all of the results that we receive we collectively sit down and establish a few base lines that cover off on the essential needs of the player group that we are targeting. These become the goals of the development. If we are able to deliver all of the requested benefits to the target consumer, then we have done our job.
Once we collect the data and narrow it down to the most crucial elements, the best part of our jobs truly begins. It starts with collective brainstorming with the R&D team. We look for ways to delivery complex benefits with innovative design ideas. No idea is too crazy, and no idea is immediately dismissed. We have the ability to do rapid prototyping that give us a fast and accurate way to see 3D representations of any design element that we create within hours of designing it. This allows us to think creatively and not be restricted by cost when developing new ideas. This process can take weeks and sometimes months, but the result is always something unique and innovative. We really take pride in solving contradictions in racquet design. Asking ourselves questions like, "how do we increase racquet speed while simultaneously increasing the sweetspot?” Until the invention of O3 Technology, this simple contradiction had never been overcome.
So, once the technical design process is underway we also start the cosmetic development. This, just like the technical development, the cosmetic....
FOR THE REST OF THE BLOG CLICK HERE: PRINCE EXO3 BLOG