NPD: Trade Sampling Beats Guessing About The Competition


We work with many companies that are preparing to launch new and evolutionary (sometimes revolutionary) products. They present their CAD files, product renderings, emerging BOMs and prototypes and their blue sky commercial plan. What’s often missing is a solid competitive benchmarking and analysis plan.

Regardless of how groundbreaking your design may be, we at EastBridge Engineering ( feel that it’s essential to know your direct and indirect competitors before leaping into new product development and manufacturing process.

Our smart clients (less cocksure of themselves…) ask us to assist with characterizing competitive products in the marketplace before the NPD process begins. This involves collecting competitive intelligence, trade sampling, product benchmarking & analysis and visual and construction assessments.

This class of project includes:

Obtaining collateral literature from global suppliers that play in the same space.

Procuring a full range of representative samples, ancillary accessories, documentation and packaging.

Creation of a series of inspection criteria based on our client’s internal and global product standards.

Inspecting the samples and draft an inspection report that ranks the samples for fit and finish, appropriateness for use, quality of components and materials, etc.

Generating a reference BOM and estimated cost for the competitive products.

Placing arm’s length reference requests for quotation (RFQs) with pre-qualified vendors

Researching and confirming competitors’ trade references.

Trade Sampling is a simple exercise that provides a spotlight on competitive products and our clients’ business plan. We feel that it’s a sound form of “cheap insurance” and a rational step to take before leaping in.


Jack Daniels

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