3 Tips for Product Development Success
Developing and launching a new product requires research, resources, and a determination to follow through despite roadblocks and setbacks. If you have a product idea, how can you better ensure your development efforts go smoothly and the end result is a win for your company? While product development comes with varying levels of complexity depending on the type of product you plan to create, several key ingredients for success remain universal.
Focus on What Your Market Needs
Ask your current and prospective customers what their needs are and what features and functionality would make your product attractive to them. Also, research what influences their buying decisions, what price points they will bear, and how they prefer to buy products. Take all of this into consideration as you flesh out your product’s design. As you work through the development process, share your early-stage plans and prototypes with your existing and potential customers. Give them a license to express whether the product’s attributes are meeting their needs and expectations. Discuss not only the functional component but also the aesthetic aspects.
Learn What Your Competition is Doing Right - and Wrong
Explore in what ways your competitors’ products are satisfying customers’ needs and in what ways they’re falling short. This will help you determine what your product could offer to add value to the customer and stand out in the marketplace.
Create a Sound Product Strategy
This requires going beyond identifying the features and functionality your product needs. Developing a strategy involves painting a picture of what you want to achieve, setting goals, and creating a roadmap for fulfilling your objectives.
A few of the questions you’ll want to answer as you form your strategy will include:
- What are your sales goals?
- How will you market your product?
- What distribution channels will you focus on?
Besides these high-level steps in the product development process, you’ll have to address many other considerations before launching your product. If you need help with product development, there are firms and consultants that you can hire to assist you. Another option is requesting free guidance from a SCORE mentor at capefear.score.org. SCORE mentors have experience in a wide variety of industries and in all aspects of starting and growing a business and the advice is FREE.