Page 6: The product concept
New product development (NPD) involves finding ideas for new goods and services and then turning them into marketable products targeted at one or more audiences, such as the five identified above. For a product to succeed in the marketplace, it should offer a range of benefits that appeal to several different audiences, often in subtly different ways. The provider needs to make clear what is on offer. Users will then identify for themselves the bits of the bundle that most appeal to them and make it a 'must have'.
In the case of the Connexions Card, the key user is the young person, so it has to be clear to him/her how the Card works and what benefits it can provide. The Card is free to all 16-19 year olds in England. It is a 'smart Card' with a chip that stores basic information supplied by the young person, thus ensuring security and providing protection against fraudulent use. The Cardholder's date of birth and photograph appear on the front of the Card and can therefore be used as proof of age.
Connexions Cardholders are awarded points for attendance at learning centres whether at school, college or work based training providers. Users can access a private and personalised area on the Connexions Card website at www.connexionscard.com where they can browse through their online rewards catalogue and exchange their points for free branded goods, special offers, entries to competitions and various rewards, including 'exciting new experiences' such as working with a football club or interviewing a celebrity.
The website also offers a range of other benefits designed for young people such as information about specific careers and courses as well as a curriculum vitae (CV) 'builder'.
In the future, the chip on the smart card may also help the Cardholder to use the Card in a number of different ways e.g. as an 'e-purse' providing a cashless way of paying for food or travel, or as a security pass for swiping before entering a building.