Got a great idea but not sure where to start? Well, keep reading to get an idea of the crucial steps to making your dream product a reality.
1. Market Research
There is always a need for market research. Even if you already know the needs your new product will address, without market research you could miss out on small, cost-effective adjustments that won't jeopardize your product vision but will help boost sales. Small things like the product name, color, and other design elements that can cover anything from the product itself to the website, imagery, and advertising you will use. There are some great, affordable market research services out there that will help you make the best decisions before you invest in the next steps.
2. Assemble the Right Team
Before you go any further, you will need to analyze your current team's skills. You need to assess what's needed for building, promoting, and selling the new product and decide whether you will need to introduce new talent to your team.
3. Product Development
This an all-important stage that can be a lengthy process depending on the product you are designing. For most physical products companies will often partner with designers and manufacturers. But, if you know your industry and your new product or service are based on your own ideas the product development stage is more about exchanging ideas with your team and making sure everyone is aligned and confident the new idea will be successful.
4. Rapid Prototyping and Testing
Once you have your product ready it is always important to test it. For non-physical product or service offerings, you can always release it to a few select clients or smaller markets to test its effectiveness, ask for feedback, and resolve any issues. But for physical products, you will need to create a small order to test. In the past CNC machining would have been the way to go, however now 3D printing has meant rapid CNC prototyping is now available for fast, cost-effective production of small batches.
Nowadays, promotion can mean anything from blogging and posting on social media to giant light-up billboards or referral partnerships. The important thing is to choose the channels that suit your services and hit your target marketing with messaging that relates to them in a situation where they will be looking for it.
6. Analysis and Optimization
Once you have released your product, it is always important to analyze performance. This means everything from customer feedback to the performance of the marketing campaigns you used in step 5. Understanding what works and what doesn't work will go a long way towards creating a successful product life cycle.