Thriving consumer industries are fertile ground for marketing students seeking new product ideas. Proven industries offer strong potential for researching existing merchandising lines, developing products with added features and working on a signature part of the product each week of a semester.

Evaluate consumer trends and habits and competition in the market to develop novel product ideas for specific audiences. Targeting specialized markets, such as organic and natural fiber products, can help students develop a full plan for the semester. Focus the first few weeks on researching consumer trends during shopping for organic products. The next few weeks of the class can be dedicated to research and development for the product, designing product packaging and labeling and fleshing out the marketing plan. In-class materials range from cardboard and stickers to a computer software program for making charts.

Specialty Markets and Class Presentation

New products for a marketing class should be physical ones requiring assembly of at least two parts instead of something abstract like business-to-business software. Product parts can be sketched out on paper or poster board and displayed in the classroom. When students work in groups they can make suggested changes about product features based on research. Students can add to their poster boards each week of the semester until the project is complete and ready to be marketed. For example, a specially designed pet-feeding mat meets the needs of a pet owner who takes his canine on an overnight trip. Each week, students can focus on one aspect of the mat to enhance, as well as offer new segments to the product's marketing plan.

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