Nations that launch: Where new technologies and products take-off

Oct 31, 2008

A new study published in the September/October issue of the journal Marketing Science reveals the world's most innovative countries, with Japan and the Nordic countries earning top spots and the United States finishing in sixth.

The study, which evaluates 31 countries based on the time it takes for new products to takeoff, is among the most comprehensive research of its kind. Wherever applicable, researchers analyzed 16 different product categories over a time span of 50 years.

The report was co-authored by Deepa Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of marketing at Lehigh University, and Gerard J. Tellis, director of the Center for Global Innovation and professor of marketing at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.

"The changing dynamics of the global marketplace are redefining the concept of innovativeness," says Chandrasekaran. "More products are being introduced at a quick rate, and the ability of a nation to embrace those changes is a true indicator of how innovative it has become."

New products takeoff faster in Japan (5.4 years) than any other nation, closely followed by Norway and its north European neighbors of Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark. The United States (6.2 years), Switzerland and Austria ranked high, as well.

The results also revealed that newly developed or developing countries, like South Korea and Venezuela, saw faster product takeoff times than more established Mediterranean nations with longer histories of industrialization.

The authors find that takeoff is driven by culture and wealth, in addition to product class, product vintage and prior takeoffs. More importantly, "time-to-takeoff" is shortening over time and converging across developed countries.

"What we're learning is that culture plays a significant role in influencing how quickly a country is willing to embrace new products and technology, but it's not an exclusive indicator," says Tellis. "Differences in wealth are also contributing factors. Taken together, we can get a pretty clear snapshot of a nation's innovativeness and its ability to adapt to the changing environment."

Chandrasekaran and Tellis examined products split between two categories: those that were fun, used for information or entertainment, and those that were used only for work. Fun products included such technologies as cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, broadband and internet use. Work products—essentially household appliances—were microwave ovens, dishwashers, freezers, tumble dryers and washing machines.

The study indicated that takeoff was significantly shorter for fun products (seven years) than work products (12 years) across-the-board—a discrepancy that merits different product launch strategies, according to the co-authors. They argue that fun products like gadgets could be introduced simultaneously across nations (a "sprinkler" strategy), while the introduction of appliances and other work-related technologies should be staggered ("waterfall") for maximum impact.

Other findings of the study, titled, "The Global Takeoff of New Products: Culture, Wealth, or Vanishing Differences," include:

-- Japan, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Denmark rounded out the top five; India, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and China were ranked lowest of the 31 surveyed countries.
-- Japan and the U.S. are the best countries for managers who wish to launch new products in innovative and larger markets.
-- The Nordic cluster, along with Switzerland and Austria, offer smaller but highly innovative test markets.
-- South Korea has a relatively short time-to-takeoff of new products and leads the world in penetration of Broadband and 3G technologies.

Source: Lehigh University

Explore further: Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Israel leads global drone exports as demand grows

Jun 05, 2013

In an expansive hangar in central Israel, workers toil on one of the world's most contentious aircraft, fitting dozens of drones with advanced sensors, cameras and lasers before they are shipped to militaries ...

'Tapping into the vast potential of satellites'

Apr 12, 2013

Satellites can be used in many applications, such as identifying micromovements in a dam, managing a fleet of vehicles, and monitoring logging operations in a protected forest or a coffee plantation. Helping ...

Real to reel: Ancient Greece and Rome in the movies

Aug 17, 2012

Was "Spartacus" an anti-fascist polemic? Does "Agora" demonstrate the horrors of anti-science religious zealotry? Did the Trojans really dress only in blue and white outfits? Quiz: Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor in un-credited ...

FlyNano electric sea plane takes first test flight

Jun 18, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A single-seat carbon-fiber airplane designed for water operations and proposed as a “fun flyer” has taken its first test flight at Finland’s Lake Hepari. The June test flight comes ...

Recommended for you

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

Oct 21, 2014

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

Oct 21, 2014

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

What labels on textiles can tell us about society

Oct 21, 2014

Throughout Chinese history, dynastic states used labels on textiles to spread information on the maker, the commissioner, the owner or the date and site of production. Silks produced in state-owned manufacture ...

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

User comments : 0