Coming up with an idea for a new product can be an exciting experience. But coming up with an idea and successfully launching a product are two very different things.
After all, you’re hardly alone in coming up with a new product idea. It’s estimated that roughly 30,000 new products are launched each year — and of those 30,000, 95 percent fail.
There is never a guarantee of making a profit when launching a new product, even if you’ve successfully run your own business or released other products in the past. To increase your likelihood of success, there are some key steps you must do with your product idea after you stumble upon it.
1. Get Early Feedback
Before you start building the product, you must seek input from people whose opinion you trust and value. Ideally, you should discuss the idea with someone with commercial business or product design experience, or members of the target market for your to-be-created product.
During this discussion, you should present the problem that the product solves, as well as how it would solve that problem. Focus on the benefits your product idea offers, and which key features will help set it apart in the market.
Feedback from a trusted business partner and members of your target audience will help you identify potential selling points, as well as weaknesses or flaws with your product idea. These insights can help guide the direction of your product before you even start designing.
2. Research the Market
As you seek initial feedback on your product idea, you must also dedicate time to market research. There is no guarantee that your idea is 100 percent new and original, even if it’s new to you. Researching what is already out there can help you avoid intellectual property infringements, which can become extremely costly, even when done on accident.
You should also take time to research potential competitors. Understanding what products are already available in your niche and whether or not they are successful at solving the problem you wish to solve will help you identify how you can better differentiate your product.
Remember, unique features aren’t the only way you can differentiate your idea from what’s already on the market. Lower prices, the use of higher-end materials or integration with another existing product are just a few ways to help your product stand out.
3. Design the Product
If you’ve determined that there is indeed a market for your product, you can move on to the design phase. For many creators, this starts with a “low-fidelity” design — such as a rough sketch or a card model — that can be easily adapted and changed based on early feedback.
Also of note, this ensures that the design is extremely low cost. The initial design should be used as part of your research to see how friends, family and others react to it and what changes they might suggest.
Of course, not everyone who comes up with a product idea is necessarily going to have strong design skills. You may need to partner with a professional product designer to turn your idea into a workable model. This can be especially helpful when figuring out dimensions and other key product specifications. Professional-grade design will make it easier for manufacturers to deliver a high-quality product.
4. Find a Manufacturing Partner
With a completed design, you’ll need to find a manufacturing partner that can provide the custom work you need. Of course, you’ll also need to account for other important factors, like your budget and preferred manufacturing timeline. Successful manufacturing is more than using the right materials. It also depends on sound communication, tooling capabilities and a record of quality performance.
Manufactured can help you find the right partner for your needs. With over 45 years of manufacturing experience and a vetted sourcing network from around the globe, Manufactured provides a true end-to-end solution when you need to create a new product from scratch.
Our team can help with every aspect of the work, including product design, sourcing, prototyping, mass production, quality control and shipping. You will get the quality you need, at the right cost for your brand.
5. Test and Iterate
After your manufacturing partner issues a prototype based on your initial design, you should test and iterate before sending it to market. No matter how much you trust your design, you must test the product to ensure that it works like it should in real-world conditions. Otherwise, you could find your product experiencing a high volume of returns and complaints that derail any chance for lasting success.
As with other stages in the product development process, you should get feedback from test groups of consumers. Have them try using prototypes in everyday situations. You might be surprised at how they use — or don’t use — the product.
They might not even use it for its intended purpose! Consumers may put the product through a tougher environment than you would try yourself. This can reveal a wide variety of concerns, such as a design flaw that limits the product’s effectiveness, or a higher-than-expected risk for damage in certain usage situations.
Collecting this feedback and fine-tuning the product design as needed will ensure that the finished product will live up to customer expectations. You may need to go through multiple rounds of prototyping before it is “perfected,” but a quality launch will go a long way in helping build a strong brand for your product.
Turn New Ideas Into New Successes
Even when you follow these steps, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to launch a successful product. You may even discover that there actually isn’t a market for your idea. However, by going through these steps, you can identify and address potential pitfalls before going through an expensive full-scale product launch.
On the other end of the spectrum, following these steps can give you the feedback and insights you need to know how to fine-tune, differentiate and market your product. Either way, going through this process will ensure you are better equipped to succeed in the market.
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