Planning: Early Development Stage
- Competition: No real competition exists since the product is in early development much of which is in-house and not readily viewable to competitors. However, from a research perspective competitors are now being identified.
- Target Market: The target market exists only in market research terms. Possibly a small number of target customers are used to assist with research.
- Product: The product exists only in the form of ideas and prototypes. Inventory is not yet available.
- Prices: Non-existent unless the company charges research customers a fee to be part of early product testing.
- Promotion: Promotion has yet to occur as companies continue to refine the product form and build their marketing plan.
- Distribution: Mostly limited to internal analysis of possible distribution alternatives, though there may be some communication with a limited number of distribution partners in order to gauge interest.
- Profits: At this stage there are costs only.
For firms developing a new product form this stage is primarily concerned with market research. This stage matches the Concept Development and Testing step for New Product Development. Customers and distribution partners are only involved to aid in information gathering often through focus group research. Because the product form is still in early development the marketer has yet to determine whether the company will move forward with a full product launch.