10 Steps for Product Development Success
Daily life is filled with nuances and problems, leading many people to seek out more efficient solutions and create ingenious product ideas. You might be that person that has a fantastic idea, but what comes next? Although it can be overwhelming, here are five steps to get you started on the product development process and give you an idea of what to expect along the way.
1. There is Always Room for Improvement – Research, Improve, Repeat
When you have an innovative product idea, the first thing to do is write EVERYTHING down. Putting your thoughts on paper allows you to thoroughly analyze the product’s strengths and weaknesses and determine what possible additions you can make to make the product even better. It is best to develop a concrete concept that thoroughly explains your product and its purpose. Once you have fully developed a product idea, make sure you research it to understand all of the information necessary to create it. Research is key to creating a groundbreaking product. Before you go all-in on this product, you want to be sure that no one else has developed this product, patented the idea, and that this is something consumers need to succeed in the market.
One of the most common reasons why new products fail is that they are not needed. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if your idea will be a successful product:
- Is this product useful or enticing?
- Is there a large market for this product? A niche community may want your product, but will catering to this market segment be enough to remain profitable and thrive in the long run?
- Will this product still matter in 5 years?
- Are there similar products already on the market that will act as a substitute?
You don’t want to end up with a well-developed product to find out that your product belongs to a small niche market or that your product is not interesting enough to be purchased. Do your research and be honest with yourself about your idea.
2. Bring Your Product to Life Digitally!
After establishing and researching your product idea, create an STP design file for your product. An STP File is a 3D assembly file supported by various mechanical design programs that shows all of the exterior and interior components that make up a product. The design file is extremely important as it allows people to evaluate your product and better understand how the product functions. If you do not have an engineering background, it is best to hire an engineer to assist you with this stage of the product development process. An engineer can create the STP File while providing feedback to guarantee your product is functional and consumer-friendly.
When developing a product, its design’s functionality and features play a significant role when determining if it is consumer-friendly and enticing. Here are a few things to consider when designing your product to ensure its success:
- Is there a trigger for the product? The trigger is the reason why a user will go to the product. Learn and understand what motivates your target user and build your design to support the trigger.
- What is the action necessary to use the product? The action is the behavior performed to reap the reward for using the product. Is the action convenient and simple for the user?
- What is the reward of using the product? The reward is the benefit the user gets from using the product. Is the reward worth the action?
- Is there investment for future repeat or use of the product? The investment is a seed planted that causes the user to utilize the product in the future. Will the product solve a problem the user has and trigger them to use your product again?
Image Source: UX Collective
You want your product to flow through this process to ensure that it is consumer-friendly and straightforward for customers to use frequently. When customers keep using your product and its features, you have the best chance at establishing customer loyalty, a repeat purchase, and positive word of mouth promotion about your product.
3. Prototype Development and Signing an NDA
After developing the design file for your product, it is time to create a functional prototype. If you don’t have an engineering or manufacturing background, you should contact a professional manufacturing company that makes prototypes and products to assist you with this part of the process.
Choosing the right company to work with is crucial because you need confidence that they want the best for you and your product. When meeting with companies, it is necessary to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before sending over your design files. Signing an NDA ensures that you are protected and that the company will not disclose any information regarding your product or idea.
When you determine the company you want to work with, you will begin the prototype development stage. Here is what to expect during this process:
- Most products average 3-6 prototypes. It is doubtful that the first prototype will work correctly and be precisely what you want.
- The process can be costly. On average, people spend a couple of thousand dollars to create multiple prototypes.
- Creating a reliable product can take weeks or even months.
Remember that patience is vital for product development. The prototype development stage is often longer than most product creators expect. It always pays off to launch a fully developed product that consumers will love.
4. Perfecting the Prototype
Perfecting a prototype comes from trial and error plus feedback. If you work with professional engineers and account managers, they will study the design and product to help develop the best prototype possible. Since professionals and account managers have had their fair share in product development, they may know a feature or two that can further enhance your product. Their expertise can take your design to the next level by:
- Making the product more marketable
- Determining the optimal weight and size of the product
- Finding favorable materials to use for mass production. Sourcing the right materials involves many factors, including availability, cost, quality, and durability.
- Introducing technology that you may not have been aware of
While working with a professional team, you should also test your product with potential customers. Having your potential customer base try your product or conducting a focus group with them gives you useful criticism and guarantees an actual need for your product.
5. Gaining Funding and Creating an Online Presence
Gaining funding is an ongoing process that should begin throughout the prototype development process. Product development is often expensive, which is why it is smart to have investors and funding. When a product has financing, there is no need to skimp on quality or halt production because of a lack of funds. You want to release the best product possible to see success on the market with high demand.
Ways to gain funding include:
- Crowdfunding sites
Another essential ongoing process is establishing an online presence and garnering social media attention during development, which leads to early sales success. Establishing an online presence can include crowdfunding campaigns, having influencers in the industry review your product or prototype, social media paid advertising, and more.
A common mistake that product developers make is rushing to put out a product because they promised investors and potential clients a finished product by a specific date. You never want to send out or sell a product that is not finished or of low quality because it often leads to bad reviews.
Be prepared to face challenges, make many changes, and be patient as you work hard to make your idea come to life. If you have a great idea that will disrupt the market and help people, you can count on it being worthwhile to develop.
Once you are ready to begin the product development process, reach out to Esino USA to bring your product to life with one of our account managers. Esino is your one-stop-shop for all of your product development needs!
Stay Tuned for Developing a Product – Part 2
- Getting Manufacturing Quote
- Clinical Testing
- Create Molds for Injection Molding
- Start Production
- Bringing your Product to Market