Have you got an impeccable product idea? Every new product development journey starts with the idea that lays the foundation for further development. However, developing a product can be a nerve-racking experience. From discerning market demand to allocating costs – a lot of sweat, hard work, and money go into launching a product. Likewise, you have to ensure it solves the end user’s problems to achieve the product ‘market-fit.’
After all, it is the most crucial element for any product’s success.
Additionally, introducing an up-and-coming product in the market requires team efforts. You can bring designers on board who would be responsible for the product’s usability and utility. Similarly, hire marketers to craft captivating promotional campaigns that attract audiences’ attention. Most importantly, recruit researchers who can complete the ‘research and development’ before product development.
Remember, product development can be an enormous and risky investment. If you are making decisions in haste, it can cost you a lot of money and time. Therefore, you have to take things slowly and ensure you are not ignoring any of the steps. Here we are listing five factors companies should consider during product development.
1. Emphasize on Customer Problems
As they say, ‘the problem well-thought off is a problem half-solved.’ Hence, you have to identify the issues your target audience is encountering in today’s digital era. If you notice people having trouble accessing the information on the internet, assess their problem. With an influx of websites on the search engine, finding relevant content seems challenging, especially when readers want in-depth information. In this case, consider developing a digital product – an eBook.
It can provide comprehensive information to readers while adding value to your brand. However, suppose you are not familiar with the eBook creation process. In that case, you can try their eBook template to design a compelling book. In addition to fulfilling audiences’ demands, you will get a chance to promote your brand message. Once you recognize the problem, outline your product concepts. You can look into your competitors’ products, rewrite the business model, or introduce additional functionalities to make the product unique.
2. Concept Developing & Testing
Before introducing any new product in the market, business owners have to test the product. After all, you have to see how customers will react to your innovative offerings. However, since the product in the development stage is not safe for market trials, opt for concept testing. Here are some tips.
- Competitor Analysis: Any idea about your competitors? Having the know-how of other market players can help you penetrate the market. You should know where the competitors lack, the scope for improvement, and whether there is space in the industry.
- Quantify Gain-Pain Ratio: You have to develop an insightful picture of the product from a customer’s viewpoint. You can attain this by calculating the gain-pain ratio. The ‘gain element’ would cover the benefits product brings for the customers. Mainly the ‘what is in it for them’ part. In contrast, for the ‘pain element,’ you have to list down the efforts’ customers have to make to use the product. Remember, the gains should outweigh the pain element to ensure the product is competent.
- Determine Value Proposition: Once you are confident about your idea, you have to provide a clear picture of what your product is capable of doing. You can highlight its unique selling proposition (USP) and evaluate how it solves customers’ problems.
3. Know Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The minute you tell other people about your new product, they will ask about your MVP. Well, the minimum viable product is a product with compelling features to attract every customer. It also validates the product idea in the product development cycle, letting you launch the product as quickly as possible. In short, MVP ensures you don’t invest time and resources into building a product that won’t succeed. Are you thinking about how this would look in practice? Review MVPs of successful brands.
The founders of Airbnb used their apartment to validate their business idea of the rental housing scheme. They put up the details and photos on the website to determine how people will react to it. Hence, you can come up with a similar MVP to determine how customers will perceive your product. If you are developing software, offer gamification ads on websites that consist of software features. If people are engaging with it, your MVP will give a green signal for product development.
4. Prepare a Marketing Strategy
Even though the product is in its development stage, you have to get your marketing plan ready. Define ways through which you will reach out to the target audience and start outlining your promotional strategies. In case you don’t want to delve into algorithms and paid ads, follow McCarthy’s 4Ps of marketing. Have a look below.
- Product: Here, you have to finalize the product based on the concept testing report. It includes the product design, level of services, and the overall branding strategy.
- Price: You have to estimate profit margins that align with audiences’ affordability levels.
- Place: Where will you market the product? In this stage, you have to finalize product distribution channels. Whether you plan to sell globally or in local markets – plan the product’s scope.
- Promotion: You have to balance advertising and public relations strategy to make waves in the market. Alongside investing in paid ads, collaborate with influencers to create your product’s hype.
5. Conduct a Pricing Analysis
During the product development stage, you will encounter multiple costs such as raw material, labor, research, etc. Don’t you think this is the best to conduct a pricing analysis? With a keen understanding of product costs, you add a reasonable markup to develop the product’s final price. Similarly, you can request the research and development team to assess pricing. It would unfold how price sensitive your target audience is, helping you set market-focused pricing.
Moreover, determine the quality and uniqueness of your product before finalizing the price. If there are not enough substitutes available for the product you are developing, a higher price can also increase sales. Likewise, assess the prices your competitors are charging and try to score better than them. After all, a lower price bracket than competitors can attract customers, helping you capture substantial market share.
The product development stage is all about converting brilliant ideas into workable products. Unique and original ideas can give companies a competitive edge, letting them monopolize the market. Hence, entrepreneurs should invest sufficient resources in the development stage to create a worthwhile product. Also, taking things step by step helps in addressing customer needs and negates the opportunity costs