In the last few years, there has been a rise in the amount of companies looking to expand their business and create new products. To create the best products that will find success, you’ll need to follow the 7 key steps of new product development. With these steps, you’ll be able to envision what your audience is looking for and bring it to them. Here’s what you need to know.
The very first step is to start coming up with new ideas of what that product may be. When brainstorming, the focus should be on what would help solve any problems that your customer base may have. What can you offer them that would be useful?
Remember, at this stage you’re not looking to come up with perfect, instantly workable ideas. That’s a good way to get bogged down and not come up with anything workable. Instead, try coming up with anything that could be feasible, and add these ideas to a shortlist that you can whittle down later on.
Pick out the best idea
Now you have that idea shortlist, you’ll want to select the idea that you want to go ahead with. You’ll put the ideas to your team, and as they have expertise in product creation, they should be able to identify which idea will have the best payoff.
“One of the best ways of evaluating an idea is to do a SWOT analysis,” says Jason Lawson, a tech writer at Revieweal and Essay Services. “You can start with just a 2×2 grid, and that will help you pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of the idea.”
One of the top things to be looking for is an idea that’s totally unique. When you’re able to do that, you’ll find it a lot easier to get customers to get on board with it.
Development and testing
You have your idea, so now you’ll be creating a more fleshed out version of it to get started. With this development, you’ll be ready to head on to the next step. This will include doing the following:
Calculating the pain/gain ratio: You need to be thinking from the customer’s perspective when coming up with a product. When you calculate the gain/pain ratio, you’re looking at why or why not a customer would be interested. Gain, in this instance, is what your customer can gain from this product, while pain is the time and effort they have to put in to understand what the product can do.
Competitor analysis: You have to have an understanding of what your competition is doing if you want to get ahead. Are they offering anything similar? If so, look at what they may be lacking, and where improvements can be made. Can your product improve on what they’re offering?
Nail down the features: To make and sell your product, you should look into what features it should offer. This is crucial, as these features should be able to solve a problem that your customer has, and convince them to buy from you.
Make your value proposition chart
With the basics down, you’re ready to create a value proposition chart. “This is what helps give the end user context about how they’d use your product” explains Paula Gardner, a product development blogger with Assignment Help and Custom Writing. “That gives them a clear picture of why they should buy from you.”
Your chart should include:
- Who the product is for
- The problem they are facing
- The element that makes your product unique
- How your product solves this problem
- How your product differs from others on the market
Now you’re ready to put your product concept to a group of customers, to test it and see if it’s giving them what they need.
You’re looking for four key things when you complete this step:
- Identifying exactly who the market is for the product you’ve come up with
- Alternatives to the product could also be shown to your focus group
- Creation of a plan for development moving forward, covering marketing, pricing and distribution
- Showing off key features to customers to keep the product in their minds
With all the testing completed, you’re now able to move on to product development. You’ll start by creating a prototype, which will help visualize how the product will look. This is taken to the stakeholders, so they can see what it will do and whether it fits your needs as a company.
Next, it’s time to create the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. Once this has been completed, it can be released to the public, with new features added as and when needed.
This is the final stage of the product development cycle, where you’ll aim to bring the product to market and get your audience’s attention. If you’ve followed the above steps, getting their attention shouldn’t be that difficult at all.
Typically, the best technique is to market the concept over the product itself. How is your product going to make your customers’ lives easier? This is going to be what convinces them to check it out and potentially buy it from you.
Your marketing team should also be working on creating a unique brand voice. Having a good communication style helps you get your customers’ attention, so you can show them what you have. Every communication you send out, whether it’s emails, blogs, website content and so on, needs to be clear about what you have and what you can offer.
With these seven steps, you’re able to start coming up with those key product ideas, and bring them to life. The life cycle has been designed in this way so you’re creating products that customers are looking for, right from the first step. As such, you’ll be able to find success in your production.