The decision to develop a new product can be an extremely difficult process for many businesses. Many sectors have failed with the failure rate reaching as high as 90%. Truthfully, there is really no secret to developing winning products. Follow these steps to perfect your product development process:
1. Generate and Screen Ideas
Idea generation is the first step for any product development. Aspiring entrepreneurs can come up with ideas all day long, but not every idea is necessarily a good idea. In most cases, an entrepreneurial opportunity comes about from recognizing a problem and making a deliberate attempt to solve that problem. Identifying consumer needs may be as simple as listening to customer comments or observing customer behavior to gather new ideas. If you are already in business, customer feedback can be a simple form of market research.
2. Measure The Opportunity
Ensuring success of a new product idea is a challenge difficult to address. Product viability indicates whether or not a particular product has commercial potential in terms of sufficient demand, ongoing interest and readiness to pay for a similar solution. How relevant and interesting are your products to target buyer personas? You need to make sure that both the market and the product are viable before you even launch. If it isn’t, then you won’t be able to sell your products. You may end up wasting money on campaigns that don’t produce results.
3. Concept Development
In this phase, the new product idea is refined to best serve the needs of potential clients and stand out from the competition. Through concept development, you will be able to evaluate your customers’ reactions to your product or service before it gets launch.
The development of the concept is carried out by keeping in mind the needs of the customers as well as the nature of the product. Your product or service will solve customers’ problems. But do you know who your customers are and what challenges they have? Who are your biggest competitors? A competitive analysis will help you understand what companies you compete with and which marketing strategies they use.
4. Market Testing
If you have a great idea for a new product, you’ll need to demonstrate its utility to both investors and buyers alike. Entrepreneurs and investors make use of a design prototype that serves as a proof of concept.
Prototyping lets you correct design faults and get feedback from potential customers on your product’s usability and performance. A good prototype can also help you to attract funding, giving potential investors an idea of what your product looks like and what it can do.
Assess how well your product performs by keeping these in mind. Does your product:
- Offer a series of features that satisfy customer needs?
- Arrive on the market at an opportune time?
- Perform efficiently with regards to development and manufacturing costs?
- Maintain a healthy equilibrium between the launch cost and the product’s capacity to turn a profit?
The success of a product comes down to user experience. If you’ve managed to create a user experience that cannot be improved on by other products, you may have a product that’s ready for market.
5. Product Positioning and Launch
Positioning your product is vital to setting it apart from competitors. When creating a new product category or market, your product positioning will establish how you convince your customers of a need they didn’t even know they had.
There are several types of positioning strategies. You can position your product by:
- Product attributes and benefits: Associating your brand/product with certain characteristics or with certain beneficial value
- Product price: Associating your brand/product with competitive pricing
- Product quality: Associating your brand/product with high quality
- Product use and application: Associating your brand/product with a specific use
- Competitors: Making consumers think that your brand/product is better than that of your competitors
There are many different factors that can affect how your product is perceived. The major influence is what customers experience when they actually use your product and interact with your company. Your product positioning strategy will help align your sales, marketing, product development, customer success, leadership team, and engineering around one vision, one target market, and a clear set of values you can deliver on.
Contact us if you would like help developing a new product, spotting innovation opportunities, validating and commercializing your new products, and creating a go-to-market strategy designed to impact market traction and penetration.