The process of bringing your idea to market is a lengthy and costly one. It requires patience and persistence, but it’s worth it in the end when you release your idea to the world! However, there are many steps along the way that can make or break your product before you ever get there-here are 7 crucial things to keep in mind as you embark on this journey:
Identify Your Idea
Identifying what idea you want to bring to market is the first step of developing a new product. Identifying your idea is subjective, so there are no wrong answers, but you must put some serious thought into this crucial step before moving forward with further development. For instance, if you want to deal with the food and beverage industry, you should do research first about the current bio fermentation market. This way, you will have a better idea about whether your idea is feasible or not.
There are two popular methods for researching the marketplace: find an issue and solve it (this is known as an “unmet need”) or find out what products customers are buying (known as “trends”). The former approach requires that you come up with a specific problem that needs to be solved, then brainstorm ideas about how to solve this problem. The latter approach simply involves looking at what other companies in similar markets are producing-if there is high demand for something, you should consider creating it too!
Identify Key Elements of Your Product
What are the key elements of your product? This is where we separate an idea from a concept and begin developing features and functions that will make up this particular product or service. If you want to develop a new kind of car for instance, which includes a self-driving system, then you may need to include key elements such as an engine, batteries, breaks, steering wheel, etc. Companies like Tesla have made this process easier for entrepreneurs by allowing you to buy the individual elements of their products, which will work in tandem with your idea.
Once you figure out what key elements your product or service will need, you can start brainstorming ideas about how these components should work together. This is when your product starts to take shape!
Brainstorm Ideas About How Your Product Will Function
Now that you’ve successfully identified what product or service you want to bring to market, start brainstorming the key features and functions of your idea. If you are dealing with a tangible consumer good (likely), then these “features” will be something physical about the design of the product itself-the color it is painted or material used for construction.
For instance, if you are developing a new type of phone case, the functions would be things like protection (material used for construction), storage (size and number of pockets), etc.
This is also where you should consider incorporating any elements that will make your product special-perhaps it glows in the dark, or has Bluetooth capabilities. This is what will separate your product from other products on the market!
Develop an Articulated Value Proposition
Now that you have identified what idea you want to bring to market and started brainstorming ideas about how this idea will function, it’s time to develop an articulated value proposition. The value proposition states why someone would buy your product versus another person’s similar one, why do they need this particular product?
This is why you should not only consider the features of your product but whether it will fulfill a consumer’s need. For example, if someone else already has a phone case that protects their device-why then would they buy yours? To figure this out, write down the benefits your product offers over another.
For instance, maybe your phone case is reversible so users can switch between patterns each day of the week! Maybe it is smaller than other cases on the market right now because it does not have an extra compartment for storage. Or perhaps you are manufacturing your product in Canada where labor costs are relatively low – this will be a huge selling point in the marketplace! Your value proposition should include what makes your product different, better, and/or cheaper than other similar products on the market.
Create a Prototype for Your Product
Once you have some solid ideas about the functions and features of your product, it’s time to start creating a prototype. A prototype allows you to test how your idea will work once it is put into practice by someone else (the market), and get feedback before taking your concept to market! Start with simple sketches of your idea on paper or in design software like Sketchbook Pro. Move onto computer renderings where you can create 3D models of different aspects of your product. You can even make an actual model if you are feeling super ambitious (and want to spend a lot of money)!
Once you start receiving feedback from others who have tested your prototype, use this as a guide for how to improve your product from there. Maybe one specific aspect of the product seems to be working more effectively than another-keep that feature and get rid of anything else!
Develop Your Business Strategy
Now you need to develop your business strategy! Think about things like – if you are manufacturing your product overseas – do you have contacts there? Do you know where to find suppliers for specific components like the casing or frame of the product itself? You’ll need this information to run any kind of business effectively. Moreover, you also need to know how much money is going into each stage-how much do you have saved up for the design process, prototyping, and more.
Your budget likely will not change once you reach this step in product development because it is a very important part of knowing what your ROI (return on investment) will be like down the line.
Write a Marketing Plan
Marketing is another important step in developing your product because this is what will separate you from the competition! Marketing strategies are evolving constantly, so look at outlets like blogs or social media to guide how you can bring your product to market. For instance, you might try writing a blog post about why your product is different than others on the market. You could also create a hashtag and advertise it online so people can add it to their photos with your product once they purchase or test it out!
If you’re working on a new product idea and don’t know where to start, this article has provided 7 steps for bringing your concept from inception to market. It’s important that you consider every aspect of developing your product so it is successful in both business terms as well as what customers are looking for! The more effort you put into each stage – from designing features down to marketing strategies – the better off your product will be when released.