The determination of what constitutes a "new" product remains one of the most difficult questions faced by the marketer. Does the most recent TV model introduced by Sony represent a new product even though 95 per cent of the product remains the same as last year's model? Are packaged salads a new product, or is the package the only part that is really new?
Indeed, companies have often been guilty of using the word "new" in conjunction with some questionable products. For example, older products have simply been marketed in new packages or containers but have been identified as new products by the manufacturer. Flip-top cans, plastic bottles, and screw-on caps have all been used to create this image of newness. Industrial companies have been guilty of similar actions. Computer manufacturers, for instance, have slightly modified some of the basic hardware or developed some software for a particular customer (banks, churches), and have felt free to claim newness. Finally, manufacturers may add an existing product to their product line and call it new, even though it is not new to the consumer.
Does technology make a product new, or features, or even the price? It is important to understand the concept of "new" in a new product, since there is sufficient evidence that suggests that each separate category of "newness” may require a different marketing strategy.
Perhaps the best way to approach this problem is to view it from two perspectives; that of the consumer and that of the manufacturer.