A case study from the Greek banking sector: Formulation of a new service development strategy

The fundamental objective of this stage is to identify the best process for new service development along with the strategic goals of the whole effort. Davis (1997) suggests that this stage should contain the following elements: identification of strategic roles; review of historical performance; agreement on a common new service development strategy; specification of the research categories to explore; and assignment of individual roles and responsibilities.

Market problems and needs exploration The fundamental aim of this stage is to uncover important needs within the marketplace that are currently not met. There seems to be a general agreement that qualitative research might be more effective than quantitative research in this stage. Thus, focus groups and in-depth interviews could be conducted with individual customers, front-line employees and industry experts, advertising agencies and intermediaries. This in-depth analysis of the bank’s macro- and microenvironment could lead to a more market-driven process, which is a critical element for the success of the whole procedure.

Idea generation

The purpose of this stage is to generate high-potential new product ideas that are based on the market needs identified in the previous stage. In reality, a major distinction could be made between the internal and external sources of new ideas within an organisation. External sources include the competitors, customers, legislation and industry experts. The fundamental internal sources seem to be the marketing department, top management and other line managers.

Methods of idea generation include brainstorming, product checklists, scenario analysis and historical analysis. However, the most popular one is brainstorming.

At the end of this stage, 50—60 ideas might be formed in such a way as to contain essential benefits for customers.