Understanding the new product development process is key to a successful outcome. As a developing business, or a budding entrepreneur, there may come a point in your career where you want to develop a product alongside your business. This might be because you have a fantastic invention that you want to share with the world, but it could also be because you want to grow your business by adding a new product development to its offerings.
Whatever your product or industry, we have put together this guide which explains what is involved with new product development and how you can go from an idea, to a product that is ready to sell, in just 7 simple steps.
Step 1: Product Idea Generation
Presumably you already have a product idea or invention lined up, but you will still need to conduct market research and understand your target audience. One of the most popular techniques to analyse your product idea is using the SWOT technique: evaluate your idea’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You may also look to developing different versions of your idea for various scaled projects.
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Step 2: Idea Screening/Evaluation
It can be difficult to be involved in a new product development that means a lot to you, because you could be quite blind to any flaws or any unsuitable ideas. This is why the screening process is really crucial to the success of your product. Ensure that you share your product idea with your management team, analyse the numbers – the ROI and affordability. Together, you can work out what the market potential of your product is.
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Step 3: Product Idea Testing
This stage is where you will test the concept of your product, rather than the product itself. This is also very different to the test marketing stage. You will need to gather several of your target market demographic and introduce the concept of your product to them. Do they understand it? Do they feel that they would benefit from or use this product? Your marketing strategies will depend upon the answers they give. Have confidentiality agreements signed by your focus group before revealing sensitive information.
Step 4: Product Creation
The very exciting part! You get to decide how your product will look and experience it in your own hands! Of course, it will just be a prototype, but it’s great to get actual customer feedback on the way it looks and feels. Not only will the actual product be able to be reviewed, but also the packaging, as that is an important aspect of your product.
This phase of your project will require professional help from a product design company such as Idea Reality. Find out more about taking an idea from concept to prototype and beyond
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Step 5: Routes to Market
Once you have confirmed the details of your concept, you will need to work out how to make your product successful! This stage will analyse the product’s marketing strategy and full cost analysis will be carried out in order to work out profitability. Some analytics of potential competitors can also be carried out at this stage, as you can learn from their new product development mistakes.
Consideration of how your product will reach its end user is critical. For example will will you sell direct, crowdfund or use distributers. Perhaps you could simply licence the product IP to a bigger player who could drive massive sales in return for a percentage of sales revenue.
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Step 6: Test Marketing
This is where you take all the feedback about your prototype and use it as a marketing strategy. All the positive aspects about it should be publicised. You can even do a small product launch to test how the sales go. Depending on the results, you can adjust your strategy for the main launch. You can also assess your marketing strategy and if it’s successful, you can adapt it for a larger scale.
Step 7: Launch
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Your product is now public and sales are (hopefully) coming through. You may consider crowdfunding the launch or selling direct depending on your manufacturing options and route to market. Of course, there is still a lot of work involved at this stage, as you will need to decide how many products are going to be sold and where. You will need to form relationships with product distributors and advertisers.
We hope that this guide has shed some more light on what is involved with new product development. If you follow these steps, it will make things much easier to plan and your new product development experience should be a pleasant one!
This is an informative article only.
The above is the opinion of Idea Reality Ltd and is not to be used without proper professional advice taking into account individual project circumstances. It is recommended to keep your idea confidential and if necessary use a non-disclosure agreement to protect your idea from being stolen.